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Thursday, December 20, 2018


At Winter Solstice the realm of the night has reached its maximum. Sol reaches his shortest period in the day sky while the night is the longest of the year. From the point of Winter Solstice onward to the Summer Solstice there is an increase of light.
David Degner/Getty Images
At solstice inside Karnak Temple in Egypt, one may see the sunrise in the entryway, between the high walls. The sun’s rays gleam through the pillars and chambers, including the Sanctuary of Amun, marking the beginning of the shortest day of the year.

Southward Solstice
Capricorn Ingress
December 21
10:22:40 PM UT/GMT
05:22:40 PM EST
04:22:40 PM CST
03:22:40 PM MST
02:22:40 PM PST
12:22:40 PM AHST
Via the magazine, Sky & Telescope
At Winter Solstice the realm of the night has reached its maximum. Sol reaches his shortest period in the day sky while the night is the longest of the year. From the point of Winter Solstice onward to the Summer Solstice there is an increase of light.
Available from MoonDragonCards
Donna Henes has a very poetic take on this famously still time, a time that is inevitably punctuated by eruptions from the depths of undifferentiated potential.

"The year is a wheel with eight spokes. Each circuit is comparable to the cycle of a human [sic] life. The Winter Solstice is the time before we were born, the great dark uterine void from which all is [sic] formed. The vast black ring around all possibility, its perimeter bulging with promise. Light is conceived in the cold dark at the time of the Winter Solstice. The smallest spark, the most tentative hint of a glow, is imagined in the dense ambiance of its absence. The sun is a mere gleam in the eye of eternity. Light, no matter how tiny, equals life."

-- Donna Henes, Celestially Auspicious Occasions: Seasons, Cycles & Celebrations. New York: Berkley Publishing Group, 1966, p. 5. Thanks to Astrolabe.
Via NASA  
Astrologers look to two astronomical points, the Winter Solstice, and the Spring Equinox, as the year’s starting point. Here’s the vote for the Winter Solstice.
" very ancient times the most important yearly turning points were considered to be the summer and winter solstices. Later, in the 4th century A.D., the Emperor Julian opted for the Winter Solstice in particular, "when King Helios returns to us again, and leaving the region furthest south and rounding Capricorn as though it were [sic] a goal-post, advances from the south to the north to give us our share of blessings of the year."

--- Quoted by Charles Harvey in Michael Baigent, Nicholas Campion, and Charles Harvey, Mundane Astrology, 2nd ed. London, Aquarian Press, 1992.

In the 20th century, Charles Carter in England and Alfred Witte in Germany both echoed the Emperor Julian's sentiments and made a persuasive case for the Capricorn ingress to be regarded (astrologically speaking) as the beginning, or start of the year, while the general consensus among most “Western” astrologers is that the Vernal Equinox (Spring) begins the astrological year. Witte saw the Capricorn ingress as the beginning of the solar cycle. In the Northern Hemisphere it's the time when the old Sun dies and a new one is born, and, as Chinese astrologers saw it, increasing yin switches over to increasing yang. Like the New Moon, which most astrologers acknowledge to be the beginning of the lunar cycle, the Winter Solstice marks the end of the waning half of the cycle and the beginning of a new waxing half.
--- via Astrolabe AUG2.htm (TR edited)

In the Eight-fold Year, the Winter Solstice marks YULE.
Here’s an excerpt from a recent solstice discussion in Facebook.
Ellen M Zucker wrote:
One explanation I heard about Dec 25th being used as the date for Christmas is that at the Solstice the Sun virtually comes to a stop for three days. On Christmas, the Sun slowly begins its path northward beginning the cycle of lengthening daylight.
TR: At many places on the planet, maybe on every continent, I don’t know, there are monuments, standing stones, or geological realities, that are or can be used for tracking the course of the sun through the seasons. If you pay attention and live at the same location for some years you will be able to mark and track the sun’s seasonal course from its rise and set points at the solstices. If you haven’t done that, make a point of noting the day of the solstice and the precise (as much as you can) location of sunrise and of sunset. In the northern hemisphere, the point of sunrise will be as far south as it will get (Winter Solstice) and will proceed through the year to rise further and further north until the summer solstice when it reaches the point as far north as it will get. From then the sun’s rise will proceed to occur a titch more southerly, back to the winter solstice. At the equinoxes, the sun’s rise will be precisely due east and will set due west. That’s what the sun dagger in Chaco Canyon is about and the better known Stonehenge in England, marking and measurement. Where you are on the planet makes a difference, but not to the timing of the solstices and equinoxes other than in the southern hemisphere the winter solstice is the summer solstice in the north, etc.

The idea that the sun does not move for three days is an observational one, not a physical reality. The precise moment of standstill can be calculated to the second, although visually, the sun may seem to rise in the same place for a few days in a row. Since computer programs can give the precise timing, I use it. Astrologers have used the timing of solstices and equinoxes for mundane appraisal of the time period to follow. Some do a mind-bendingly good job of that. Certain Uranian astrologers come to mind. I use the precise timing personally and privately to honor the moments.

I expect that many will use this solstice to enjoy the release of the new film, Aquaman.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

2018 TIMING SAMHAIN – twixt Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice

Samhain is one of the four Cross-Quarter Days affiliated with holidays and holy days, that due to inaccuracies of the calendar, or by convention and tradition, have slipped out of alignment with the astronomical. The four are metaphysically regarded for spirit world connections, omens and divination. They are Imbolc (midwinter, Groundhog Day), Beltane (May Day), Lammas (harvest and second planting), and Samhain (Hallowe’en, All Souls Day, El Día de los Muertos).
Thanks to computer programs there is precision to pinpoint the astronomical moment of events, something astrologers do in calculating horoscopes. Here is the timing for the Sun, precisely midway between the Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice, the Scorpio midpoint.

November 7, 2018
11:31:40 AM UT/GMT
06:31:40 AM EST
05:31:40 AM CST
04:31:40 AM MST
03:31:40 AM PST
01:31:40 AM AHST +10:00:00

In olden times, well before the “Common Era,” C.E., that’s now called B.C.E., Before the Common Era (“Before Christ”), there was no way to give the timing that I’ve been offering for the Eight-fold Year, the Solstices, Equinoxes, and the midpoints of those that we call the Cross Quarter Days, that are holidays and holy days of Wicca, Paganism, the Old Religion, or what have you. The events can now be timed to the second and I think that’s pretty cool, so share the times I get from computer assisted calculations.

There was no monolithic “Old Religion” or paganism, but Solstices, Equinoxes and Cross Quarters were likely recognized and utilized by a variety of peoples from very ancient times for ritual, augury, and as portals to exchange with the world of Spirit. Ancient astronomical accuracy recognizing the events are evident in many more structures than Stonehenge and Chaco Canyon, and from a wide variety of cultures globally. The Eight-fold Year resonates in celebrations and ritual in the calendars of religions and peoples, often obscured from the source, such as Groundhog Day for Imbolc (in the belly) midway between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.

Samhain, a sabbat or high holiday and fire festival of the pagan calendar falls with the Sun at the midpoint of the sign Scorpio, the Scorpion, symbol of death and transformation. It is a Water Sign traditionally affiliated with Mars but akin as well with Pluto, not visible to the ancient world, but well recognized by the astrological community fairly quickly after its discovery, February 18, 1930.

Scorpio is of the body zone of sex when considering the astrological associations from head, Aries, to feet Pisces. While Mars is strongly in the masculine, male, camp, Pluto well includes the so-called dark female, embodied by Persephone from the Greek view, and especially with Inanna the Sumerian goddess. The richness of mid-Scorpio easily includes all of the celebrations, holy days, and rituals that cluster about this time.
Pagan Wiccan Greeting Card, designed by artist Amanda Clark

Friday, September 21, 2018

Autumnal (Southward) Equinox 2018

At the equinox the Sun will shine directly on the equator and there will be nearly equal amounts of day and night throughout the world. This is also the first day of fall (autumnal equinox) in the northern hemisphere and the first day of spring (vernal equinox) in the southern hemisphere. twice a year the sun’s rays shine directly over the Earth’s equator. The sun rises and sets exactly due east and due west on the equinoxes. Instead of the Earth tilting away from or toward the sun, its axis of rotation becomes perpendicular to the line connecting the centers of the Earth and the sun. From Autumnal Equinox to Winter Solstice (December 22) the nights get longer.

The Autumnal (Southward) Equinox, Sun enters Libra (Sun at 0° Libra), Maybon (Holy Day), September 22-23, 2018, 01:54:02 AM UT/GMT September 23, 2018
3:54:02 PM Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time September 22, 2018

The Equinox in other time zones:
September 23, 2018
UT/GMT     01:54:02 AM
UK         02:54:02 AM
September 22, 2018
EDT         09:54:02 PM
CDT         08:54:02 PM
MDT         07:54:02 PM
PDT         06:54:02 PM
HST         03:54:02 PM Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time 2018

The Wheel Turns Toward Darkness.
The energies of the Dark Gods and Goddesses begins to increase and gain attention. The balance described by the Taoist symbol of Yin and Yang reflects the Equinoxes but an imbalance begins at the point of Equinox as night begins to overtake daylight's duration. The processes of inward turning gain significance. Persephone returns to her throne with Hades in the Underworld.

As I grow older, and if not wiser, at least more knowledgeable, I understand more about the Wheel of the Year and the astrological implications of my birthday, and of all other birthdays the year long. The Sun is the core of being, the source of life on Earth and of the energetic (if not biological life) on the rest of the system that orbits Sol. The place of the Sun in the Tropical Zodiac is what determines your "Sign."

With this very, very basic astrology that verges perilously close to what I've called Signology, I grow ever more deeply toward a ritual appreciation of life and living. I grow closer to the sacredness of life, my respect for the mystery deepens, my connection to the chimera of the ancient gods increases. These are not the gods and goddesses of traditional and ancient devotion, but symbols arisen from the rhythms of the heartbeat of the solar system, of what some traditions know as "the Word."

There is that continual heartbeat of creation, the Sun. The Sun's communication with us has developed and will continue to develop over time. Our lives on earth are quite brief though and one earthly life will simply experience the Word as regularly as a heartbeat.

While the heartbeat may slowly alter over eons of time, Earth's relationship with the Center cycles rhythmically through the Centuries. That essential relationship of Earth to Sun establishes a core pattern that is the basis of Tropical Astrology. That is not to say that other orientations, other methods of astrology are inferior. In fact, I find Constellational Astrology (Sidereal and Jyotish for example) more intellectual, you might say more scientific (I wouldn't but some would).

The gift of increasing information by observation and experience seems to work in both directions for me. One direction is toward detail and technique and the other is toward a very Earth-oriented, you might say Pagan appreciation (I would say that, but only in the most basic ways beyond the approaches of specific groups or tribes like Wicca, Heathen, Thelema, or what have you).

My understanding of the Wheel of the Year or Season Cycle reaches to the roots of most beliefs and religions and even to modern physics. I find solid support for my understanding in several branches of physics, especially: quantum mechanics, special relativity, stellar, galactic and extragalactic astrophysics, cosmological, evolutionary, bio, cellular, particle, experimental, theoretical, atomic, molecular, mechanical, condensed matter, optical, mathematical, and gravitational wave astronomy (I may have left some out).

"Because night and day are nearly in balance, the equinox is a great time to work on personal balance. This is the perfect time of year to re-evaluate where you are and take the steps necessary to get your personal and spiritual lives in order."

And just a reminder, in a few weeks, on November 4, 2018, Daylight Saving Time ends – turn clocks back one hour, 2:00 am becomes 1:00 am.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Lughnasadh/Lammas 2018

2018 Lammas/Lughnasadh
The third of the four fire festivals held on the year's solstice and equinox midpoints. This one is at the Leo midpoint twixt Summer solstice (Cancer) and Fall equinox (Libra).

2018 Lammas (Loaf Mass), Lughnasadh (pronounced Loo-nas-ah, Lugh is a sun diety and nasad suggests harvest festivals, fairs, and games) celebrates the first harvest (Northern Hemisphere). It is the third of the Celtic fire festivals which celebrations begin on the eve of the day. Barley is among the grains harvested and celebrated at Lunasad (Scottish name). It is immortalized in a Robert Burns ballad, John Barleycorn.

Ritualists might be interested in precise timing for the cross-quarter moment, when the Sun reaches the Zodiac degree of 15 degrees of the sign Leo.
Aug 7 2018 AD GC
1:30:54 PM GMT
9:30:54 AM EST
8:30:54 AM CST
7:30:54 AM MST
6:30:54 AM PST
3:30:54 AM AHST +10

There is evidence that versions of the John Barleycorn ballad were sung well before the reign of Elizabeth I. Here’s how Robert Burns hae it in 1782.

There was three kings into the east,
three kings both great and high,
and they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn must die.

They took a plough and plough'd him down,
put clods upon his head,
and they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn was dead.

But the cheerful Spring came kindly on'
and show'rs began to fall.
John Barleycorn got up again,
and sore surprised them all.

The sultry suns of Summer came,
and he grew thick and strong;
his head well arm'd wi' pointed spears,
that no one should him wrong.

The sober Autumn enter'd mild,
when he grew wan and pale;
his bendin' joints and drooping head
show'd he began to fail.

His colour sicken'd more and more,
and he faded into age;
and then his enemies began
to show their deadly rage.

They took a weapon, long and sharp,
and cut him by the knee;
they ty'd him fast upon a cart,
like a rogue for forgerie.

They laid him down upon his back,
and cudgell'd him full sore.
they hung him up before the storm,
and turn'd him o'er and o'er.

They filled up a darksome pit
with water to the brim,
they heav'd in John Barleycorn.
There, let him sink or swim!

They laid him upon the floor,
to work him farther woe;
and still, as signs of life appear'd,
they toss'd him to and fro.

They wasted o'er a scorching flame
the marrow of his bones;
but a miller us'd him worst of all,
for he crush'd him between two stones.

And they hae taen his very hero blood
and drank it round and round;
and still the more and more they drank,
their joy did more abound.

John Barleycorn was a hero bold,
of noble enterprise;
for if you do but taste his blood,
'twill make your courage rise.

'Twill make a man forget his woe;
'twill heighten all his joy;
'twill make the widow's heart to sing,
tho the tear were in her eye.

Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
each man a glass in hand;
and may his great posterity
ne'er fail in old Scotland!

I stumbled upon this. Don't know anything about it. The name intrigued me. I'll have to check it out one day.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Ostara - Vernal (Spring) Equinox 2018

March 20, 2018 brings the Vernal Equinox, that might also be known as Ostara, or Eostre, or Eastre,  named for the Germanic Goddess of spring and dawn. The equinox is a thing, and I will give precise timing of it for the ritually oriented and the curious.

All points in the eight-fold year (defined by the actual astronomical measure of solstices, equinoxes, and the midpoints between those) are marked by human celebrations, holidays, and holy days. It’s my contention that those coincidental celebrations are not accidental but knowingly or circumstantially correspond to the astronomical.

We find holy days with the Jewish and Christian calendars (and most likely also with Chinese, Hindu, and other) combine near lunations with solstices and equinoxes. For example, the Full Moon after the Spring (Vernal) Equinox is Passover. The Sunday following that Full Moon is Easter (the preceding Friday is Good).

Here are times for Ostara (the Spring Equinox) where you live. [Daylight Saving Time starts in Great Britain and most of Europe on March 25.]

Mar 20 2018
4:15:25 PM GMT -00
12:15:25 PM EDT -4
11:15:25 AM CDT -5
10:15:25 AM MDT -6
9:15:25 AM PDT -7
6:15:25 AM AHST -10

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Mars slithers into Scorpio

Mars' Wild Wandering in 2016 . . . 17 . . . 18 . . .

Art by Aysem Aksoy, artist-astrologer -- astrological, symbolical, and mythological painting; mastery in painting personal birth charts.       
Find her on Facebook at:…

Mars, currently retrograde (backing up through the Zodiac, an appearance caused by the perspective with which we view Mars from Earth – until June 29), returns for awhile, to his own beloved Scorpio.

He slithers back into comfortable waters, fresh from reminders of Uranus-Pluto, the upset and destructiveness of greed, racism, and “religious” war.

In the game of time Mars has further trialog with those two chief players of this decade, in the “cold design”. * 

We grew together, stars made men

by cold design; instructed

sternly (no variance, not by a hairs-

breadth) instructed sternly in course and recourse. In the heavens

in our mother’s body, by moon and month

were whole men made.

From “To Philip” by Father Daniel Berrigan

Art by Aysem Aksoy, artist-astrologer -- astrological, symbolical, and mythological painting; mastery in painting personal birth charts.       
Find her on Facebook at:…

While the planets do not need to "make things happen," they can be mapped and form an ever-changing design with repeating elements. The design where Mars is involved is sometimes hot and often dramatic.

On the other hand there's his effort to teach, that there's inevitability to change, to put up with same-sex bathrooms, and Shiite or Palestinian neighbors. Learn to live with it. You will die soon anyway.

For you explorers of the depths of these times, I found it “velly interesting” that Mars and Pluto stood still to retrograde, both within 20 hours of one another on April 17/18 (in Hawai'i, both on the 17th). Cold design, or coincidence?

Mars will involve himself with Uranus and Pluto, in periods to remind us of the message in perhaps a fading way until he's in Taurus for the duration from March of 2019. Until then, expect echoes of what some have boxed into the year 2014. The appeal of cold design boxed in time seems quite attractive as one becomes familiar to the “music of the spheres”. It unfolds into the great deathless as one becomes a familiar of the poetic music. (Sorry, but I never dreamed I'd be writing about this part of the design when my astrological writing career began in the middle 1970s. It makes me dizzy.)

You may have seen my Facebook post about Mars, as near Earth as he's been in some eleven years. Consequently, he appears bigger and brighter than he does on average. This bigness is not a sudden thing but waxes until he's directly opposite Earth from the Sun on May 22 and he will slowly appear smaller and less bright in the weeks that follow.

Mars will resume apparent forward motion, “Stationary Direct”, on June 29, 2016, having reached 23 degrees and 03 minutes of Scorpio. He began a backward path on April 17, 2016, at 8° 54' Sagittarius.

If you have points in your charting from 0° to 9° and/or from 22° to 29° 59' (and most of us do), those will indicate areas that Mars has given you to study, these past, and this coming (June) months.

If you don't “get it”, post your question here and/or email

Copyright © 2016 Tim Rubald

Thursday, August 27, 2015



Sun conjunct Galactic Center

12/18/2012 @ 27° 01' 52 Sagittarius
12/21/2225 29° 59' Sagittarius
12/21/2226 00° 00' Capricorn -- the location of the Galactic Center

It is cute and a reminder of our smallness in the scheme of things. In order to have a photograph of our Milky Way Galaxy though, you would need a vantage point from outside of the galaxy, and a good ways away in order to fit the whole thing in the viewfinder. So this picture is a gotcha from whoever started it. It is actually a photo of the Andromeda Galaxy.

The Milky Way Galaxy is organized into spiral arms of giant stars that illuminate interstellar gas and dust. Our Sun is in a finger called the Orion Spur. Some of the brightest stars and most famous celestial objects of this constellation (Betelgeuse, Rigel, the stars of Orion's Belt, the Orion Nebula) are neighbors of sorts to our sun, located within the Orion Arm. When we look at it, we're looking into our own local spiral arm. This is not a photograph, it is a portrait. To photograph our galaxy, you'd have to be outside of it, and that's a long, long way.
For more visit:

Hello fans of Astrology in Astrophysics. Doing some cleanup on one of my computers I came upon these calculations that I'd made for the 2012 whoop-de-do. Then as now I prefer to stick to the astrology that I know, and not suddenly jump on a Mayan track and pretend that I know something about Mayan astrology. Not necessarily part of the Mayan thing was the notion, that at the time of the Winter Solstice, also known as the Winter Equinox, that the solstice Sun, viewed from Earth, would be exactly on the Galactic Center in that alignment looking toward the Sun from the Earth (GC then, behind the Sun). Imagine the center of our galaxy (we call the Milky Way, aka Via Lactea) at the moment of the Equinox, that our Sun would transit or eclipse that precise center point.

I came upon this by accident and thought to use it here because it depicts the baloney of the so-called alignment of the 2012 Winter Solstice Sun with the Galactic Center. I was gratified to find the word BULLSHIT in the caption with it. Yes folks, it will be 210 years until the event. Then, the marker "C" will have the year 2225 beneath it.

In this photo (probably composit since it is such a huge chunk of space) we look toward the Galactic Center from Earth. It's a rather unpreposing part of the Galaxy. When we zoom in, and we have now, but I'll leave those photos for another time, we find a bright globe. That globe is made of light being sucked into the Black Hole there. I continue to be gratified and amazed at what space exploration has given us in such a short span of time. I know that this will spread out over the page, but I just can't bring myself to smallerize it.

I pointed out that would not occur until the year 2225 and 2226.  I may have said something along the lines of the carnival barker's "Close, but no cigar." Which I suppose was the prize for whacking the base lever with a big sledge hammer to send a weight up to ring the bell at the top, "Close, but no cigar." In fact, at the solstice in 2012, the Sun was just a teeny bit less than three entire degrees away from the center.

Here's another view with other galaxies, stars, and objects identified. The letters are abbreviations for astronomical catalogues-published lists of known stars, nebulae, supernova remnants, galaxies, and other objects in space.

The New General Catalogue (NGC) was originally published in 1888 by the Royal Astronomical Society and lists 7,840 objects.

The Index Catalogue (IC) lists an additional 5,286 galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters discovered between 1888 and 1907.

Names with the letter M are Messier objects, named after Charles Messier, a French astronomer. In the 1760s and 70s, he hunted comets and made a list of the 103 objects he found that looked like, but were not comets. All Messier objects can be seen with binoculars or small telescopes under clear, dark skies.

These are undeniably exciting times, before and after 2012, but there are real astrological events that fit our reality quite well. We'll have to wait until 2225 for whatever is implied by the solstice Sun exactly conjunct the Galactic Center.


© Copyright 2015 Tim Rubald