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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NEPTUNE STILL on November 9, 2011

NEPTUNE STILL on November 9, 2011
Neptune stations today (the still point where we look out to the solar system toward that planet and due mostly to our orbital motion about the Sun Neptune changes from backward to forward against the measuring dial of the Tropical Zodiac) which means, it resumes forward motion. For a few days though Neptune has pretty much not been moving and that will be the case for a few more days to come.

Neptune (discovered 9/23/1846 in Berlin) is a slow mover anyway, taking about 164.79 years to orbit the Sun, 14 years in a Sign, moving about two degrees a year, and due to how we view and track Neptune's motion through the Zodiac it appears to spend about 5 months of every 12 in backward, retrograde, motion. That slowness and infrequency is one of the factors that make a Neptune station (change of direction) special.

I saw a fellow on the beach the other day burning a drawing into a piece of flat driftwood. He used a hand magnifier to focus the sun's rays to burn in a design. When the alignment is right and steady the focal energy is powerful enough to burn the wood. Similarly, when a planet reaches a station point it is as though it is in a similar state of high focus. That's what we have now with Neptune.

Neptune is the planet of the Great Dream, of emotional absolutes like Truth, Love, Beauty, and of the higher realms of music and art. What first came to mind as I allowed the Neptunian flow today (after bravely resisting an impulse to meditate - which by the way is an excellent idea when Neptune is emphasized) was the Lovin' Spoonful song that I've been a fan of since it first hit the airwaves in 1966, "What a day for a daydream,"  begins the tune, Daydream.
I just wanted to point out Neptune's station today and suggest that on the one hand it's okay and appropriate to give time to your dream, and, on the other hand, that a bit more concentration is in order if you have a job in something that requires critical exactitude (like an air-traffic controller) or even in, as drug labels may say, driving or operating machinery. That applies any time Neptune is in emphasis.

While I'm not a big fan of degree symbols, I will point out that the most popular symbols, The Sabian Symbols give this for the degree of Neptune's station today:  28-29 deg Aquarius - A Butterfly Emerging From A Chrysalis.  Isn't that special?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mars square Saturn triggered August 25 2011

Mars square Saturn triggered August 25 2011

Mars forms a right angle (270°, an aspect Dane Rudhyar referred to as a “crisis in consciousness”) to Saturn in Libra at 6:46 AM Eastern Time, August 25, 2011. Just over two hours later the Moon triggers the aspect at 9:04 AM Eastern. The trigger happens when the Moon comes exactly to Mars at 14° 34’ of the Sign Cancer.

Saturn represents the old and established way of things while Mars is about the youthful exuberance of action; unmovable object meets irresistible force. Something’s gotta give!

While I am certain there will be events smack within those time constraints, there is also plenty of response on both the before and after of the astrological event.  I’ve already noted Mars’ hard aspects to Uranus and Pluto that excite the connection to the great sociopolitical processes at work there, those aspects August 9 and 10, 2011 (See Mars OOB article Those occurred with Mars out of bounds and the quality of events about the aspect were indeed extreme. I’d include the July 22 bombing and massacre in Oslo with Mars’ triggering of the Uranus/Pluto 90° square (Rudhyar, “crisis in action”). That was also the same day Mars went out of bounds. A brief look at events from the beginning to mid-August will show many Mars-inspired events.

    OK, I was reminded of this when looking at a chart clock today and chatting a bit about astrology. I had an “Oh, my look at that, Mars square Saturn and a Moon/Mars to trigger it!”  There is plenty of stress leading up to the event and there will be plenty to represent the mirroring, as above, so below that is astrology but I haven’t time at this juncture in time to write more. Let’s see what transpires and why not list the events you see that match this stress right here!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mars Out Of Bounds!

Mars OOB 2011

Ideally I'd have posted on this topic a little sooner but since Mars' OOB continues through August 21 I will write a bit about it. What inspires my paying more attention at this time are the Mars inspired events that have been occurring at a seemingly stepped up rate since Mars went OOB. These events especially coincide with Mars' "triggering" the nearing and extremely potent aspect that will be seen as defining these times, the developing ninety degrees between Uranus and Pluto. Mars squares (90°) Uranus about August 9 and opposes (180°) Pluto about August 10 ("about" due to time zone variations).

To take a moment for a reminder as to what OOB is . . . Due to the tilt of the earth as it orbits the Sun we get seasons and the latitude markers of the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn that are 23° 28' north and south of the equator.  Imagine the equator and those north and south limits extended out into space.  Most of the time the planets stay within those limits set by the Sun.  But sometimes, some of the planets swing beyond the limits that the Sun sets.  The Sun, Saturn and Neptune never go OOB, but periodically the rest do.

When a planet is OOB it doesn't relate normally to other astrological factors.  For the time it is out of bounds it is a bit of a wild card, a bit eccentric, and independent. Mars goes out of bounds in 2011 from about July 23 to August 21.

Without any special research but just recalling some recent events that fit the model, we have the disgusting "war" in Washington over the debt ceiling and the disastrous results of that. Then there have been mass shootings both here and especially in Norway, fiery riots in England, the largest single day loss of US soldiers with the downing of a helicopter in Afghanistan, extremes of heat setting temperature records, horrible famine in Somalia, and on and on. Of course all of these are not "caused" by Mars out of bounds. What they are is reflections of how Martian events have been pushed to extremes. That is the astrological meaning of a planet out of bounds, matters that are linked to the symbolism or archetype of the planet, show more extreme manifestation.

I've written elsewhere about the rare and dynamic current relationship of the planets Uranus and Pluto, how we are reaching a developmental crisis in their cycle, the force of which began in the nineteen sixties. See this post in Gather and scroll down to the "Dear Claudia" commentary for an important continuation of the article. 
The reason I am taking note of Mars OOB now is on account of those aspects by Mars pointed out in the first paragraph to the developing Uranus/Pluto square.

"Classically" Mars is regarded as a "malefic", the lesser malefic to Saturn's "greater malefic." In certain contexts Mars fulfills that ascription quite nicely but it is important to recognize that Mars is also beyond good or bad. The astrological function of Mars is also represented by the blood that courses through the veins of many creatures filling the function of distributing nutrition and handling waste. Mars represents the immune system that protects the body. Mars is the figure linked with action in general, the ability to move, to work, to make any sort of physical effort. It is the planet of athletes and athleticism. Mars is fire and as such represents all sorts of energy that is linked with heat that powers our vehicles, our manufacturing, our phones and computers. So Mars isn't inherently a bad (or a good) guy. Mars is energy and action.

What you will want to do is to look or have your astrologer check for how transiting Mars is moving through your horoscope, where it is and what aspects (looks, contacts) that it shares with other factors of your horoscope. That will point to the areas where you may experience Martian "extremes" to utilize as cautions or to ride the wild energetic tide.

Write to for personal service.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Eclipse Season ~ June-July 2011 ~ Part I

Eclipses June-July 2011

Nearly every eclipse season I find that I want to communicate about these interesting and often very visible astronomical events.  The linking of astronomical and astrological is a very rational, mental, intellectual process but centuries of attention suggest something more.  Sometimes, I sense what prompts some other cultures and civilizations to regard even “simple” (not an eclipse) lunations as important times of alignment with a greater whole.  Many cultures use New, Full (and even Quarter) Moons for special awareness, ceremony, and celebration.  For most of those an eclipse is “even more so.”  I suggest that we make an effort to expand our awareness to include as much as we can and when possible utilize lunation times to see and to feel something greater than our hum-drum everyday life.  Find a moment to turn off the phone and to tune in to a few minutes of quiet. Take a wandering walk in nature with no purpose but to observe.  Lie on a blanket and watch the clouds or the stars. Since holy days are in most religions linked with the solunar cycle you will often find religious events for your participation near times of New and Full Moons. What is in your heart and the spaciousness you give your mind is key, no matter which option to honor the cycle that you choose.
Astrologers Studying an Eclipse by Antoine Caron 1571

In a very basic sense, an eclipse is simply a very close Full or New Moon syzygy (alignment) so that a shadow is cast either on the earth (Solar Eclipse) or on the Moon (Lunar Eclipse).  In the West we tend not to notice the lunar cycle, while for much of the world that very cycle determines the calendar and so it is quite apparent.  An advantage of a lunar calendar is that it puts us in touch with what is actually a very significant process that gives a view of the world and of life. I am comfortable with our herky-jerky, 365 & 1/4 days, calendar, but I think we should also be aware of the lunar cycle for more than just tide watching.
The dark areas indicate where the eclipse is visible. 

The two lunar eclipses this year are total: June 15, and December 10.
June 15 is seen in Africa, Arabia, Eastern Europe, India and western Asia.   

The December 10 total lunar eclipse is most visible in the Eastern Pacific and the Orient with the US mainland getting various degrees of the eclipse at moonset.
  The shadow of the solar eclipses  in June, July, and November this year graze the polar regions and will only be visible at very high or very low latitudes depending on the eclipse.  All four Solar Eclipses are partial: January 4 (most widely seen), June 1, July 1, and November 25.

Most of the astrological work that I do is for individuals.  I find that opportunity deep and fascinating. It is a calling.  Still, on a daily basis I give varying degrees of attention to much larger applications of solar system patterns.  Those have historical connections, from the rise and fall of civilizations to geologic and climate anomalies.  While mundane and political astrology is fascinating, sharing it is challenging.  It isn’t so hard to point things out, but it is hard to do it in a way that does not seem completely boring.  The reader has to work a bit to “get” the political and mundane astrology that I share, especially when it is before the fact, predictive if you will.

I posted commentary for a previous eclipse season and did it in stages.  I think I will take that tack again.  I hope you will give me feedback and ask questions. That helps me make future offerings about this eclipse season interesting and relevant to you.

A note about times: the reach of the Internet being global the question of “what time is the event?” poses a bit of a problem. There are web sites and cell phone aps you can find easily. Sometimes I’ll use UT/GMT (Universal Time and Greenwich Mean Time) as that is a world standard.  I live in Hawai’i and Hawai’i time will insinuate here and there. I often calculate charts for the White House or Washington D.C. as that is the seat of power for the United States from where come most of my readers.  From an astrological perspective calculations interpreted for D.C. will have relevance for the United States as a whole.
Partial Solar Eclipse/New Moon June 1, 2011 occurs at 11°02' Gemini
Ecliptic Conjunction  = 21:02:35.5 UT [This is the astrological conjunction or New Moon.]
Greatest Eclipse = 21:16:11.1 UT [This is the greatest shadow.]

According to the Eclipse Geeks at to see this Partial Solar Eclipse you need to be in: Alaska - only US view, northern Canada, China, Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Japan, North Korea, or the Russian Federation. The eclipse is remarkable in the lands of the midnight sun. "The eclipse can also be seen from Siberia, northern China, remote parts of Alaska and Canada, and Iceland," writes Fred Espenak of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where the eclipse circumstances were calculated. "Greatest eclipse occurs at 21:16 Universal Time on June 1st. At that time, an eclipse of magnitude 0.601 will be visible from the Arctic coast of western Siberia as the midnight sun skirts the northern horizon."

Here’s an astrological charting of the eclipse.

The eclipse set for the White House has Jupiter sinking 1°35’ below the Descendant making it the most prominent (thought not exactly powerful) planet for USA charting.  The 7th is the House of treaties and foreign relations and Jupiter represents legislation.  The question is how much is known or revealed about foreign affairs now? Does the eclipse suggest major behind the scenes machinations, the revelation of past actions, or simply point to a current focus on international activity and legislation?

Looking at where planets of the eclipse chart Rise, Set, Culminate, and Anti-culminate gives additional indications of the type of events we might see in parts of the world where planets are angular at the time of the eclipse.
The glyphs at A, M, D near the middle of the map are Uranus (Ascendant), Pluto (Midheaven), and Saturn (Descendant). Map via Janus software -

Some of what strikes me is the eclipse itself (Moon and Sun together) is near the IC (foundational effect) near Baghdad, Iraq, with Neptune of confused uncertainty on the Ascendant there. There is a similar arrangement in Yemen and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Not illustrated.)

To further complicate US (undeclared) war zones the Saturn/Uranus opposition on the Asc/Dsc axis sandwiches secretive and powerful Pluto on the MC at the time of the eclipse.  That “sensitizes” western India (including Western Kashmir), Pakistan (Uranus on the Ascendant in Karachi and Quetta, Saturn on the Descendant in Lahore), Afghanistan, and on north thru this-and-that-stan through Kazakhstan and up through central Russia.

In flip-flop fashion, the same planets are emphasized on the opposite side of the globe.  In the US the Saturn/Uranus with Pluto configuration occurs in the Rocky Mountain region (Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona).  These are areas where we might expect the struggle Saturn (structure, established order) poses with Uranus (freedom, independence, revolt) and that is raised to potentially volcanic proportions with the presence of Pluto, the Phoenix planet of death and resurrection.
The key three are represented from left to right at the top of the map, Uranus (D) that looks like a sort of antenna, Pluto (I) that might be a figure with arms raised, and Saturn (A) a little cross with a tail. Map via Janus software -

What these observations suggest is not specific events but events that fit the archetypal signatures of the planets involved.  Those “sensitize” the location to fitting events, whether geologic, meteorological, or political, or combinations of those.

The eclipse occurs just over two degrees past the July 4, 1776 location of Uranus.  The reference here is to the revolt that resulting in the founding of this independent nation.  Uranus is the planet of divorce and separation and the implication for our period is a continuation of the divisiveness we see in current politics.

Other links from the eclipse chart to that of the Declaration chart:  Eclipse Pluto opposite Jupiter, Eclipse Uranus sq Venus (&Uranus), Eclipse Saturn near Declaration Saturn reminds us of the “growing up” US Saturn return in effect (8th since Independence, exact December 2010, by Rx March 2011, final of the series in August 2011).  The eclipse Mercury at a right angle to the US Moon suggests continuing dispute and discussion about matters of labor, jobs, and employment between the people and between the representatives of the people.  As much as this represents real exchange this is very much needed now.

Individually those with important planets or horoscopic points at 11 degrees will have revelations keyed to this eclipse and this period (eclipse effects at least cover a time frame until the next eclipse of the same type – solar or lunar – in other words, at least a month’s time until the July 1 Partial Solar Eclipse).  While the eclipse makes a nice trine to Saturn, that aspect is separating and a 3/16 aspect to Uranus may have more to say about the type of effect, especially with those with something significant at 11 degrees, and especially if the 11 degree factor is in a mutable sign (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces).  For those the message is freedom, change, revolt, independence, breakthrough, surprise, and science, to suggest a few possible themes.
Total Lunar Eclipse June 15, 2011 occurs with Sun at 24°23' Gemini, Moon at 24°23' Sagittarius
Ecliptic Conjunction =  20:13:34 UT
Greatest Eclipse = 20:12:36 UT
100 minutes of totality.

With this lunar eclipse 24 degrees of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces) might feel some message while the pure and simple mundane chart set for DC has a powerful similarity with that of the previous solar eclipse in that Jupiter is exact to one minute of longitude conjunct the Descendant (7th House cusp) of international affairs, treaties, and allies and enemies.  Aspects in the chart with the MC, representative of the chief executive suggest the President being very active in terms of public perception for this time frame as well (again, at least until the next eclipse, perhaps until the next lunar eclipse, or for some period indicated by the 100 minutes of totality – you see there are quite a few different theories about the amount of time covered effectually by a given eclipse.  Personally, I’ve seem some important Solar Eclipses remain resonant zodiacal points for ten or more years.  Practically speaking, I give most eclipses a few months of attention if that.  In general I give most attention to Total Solar Eclipses the paths of which traverse populated regions of the planet.

While this is a lunar eclipse, it is total and of fairly long duration so should show some astrological effect (eclipses are always believed to be more potent that an “ordinary” Full or New Moon).
Partial Solar Eclipse/New Moon July 1, 2011 at 9°12' Cancer

Ecliptic Conjunction = 08:53:54.2 UT – July 1, 2011
Greatest Eclipse = 08:38:22.7 UT – July 1, 2011

Just nicks the South Polar region (Antarctic Ocean) with a maximum eclipse of 3% shading of the sun.  It is the first of a Saros Series (156) and as the series continues the eclipses will be more central on the earth, to totality, and then grow less and less eventually concluding the last eclipse of the series at the North Polar Region.

Astrologically this eclipse is really rock and roll from a mundane perspective.  I have it set to DC for this writing and Venus rises just 18’ from the Ascendant.  While women and relationships of all kinds would be flagged with Venus rising, for a mundane chart set for Washington I would especially thing of money and finance.  Venus rising is likely to be an beneficent indication of financial progress, and especially of news in the Sign Gemini, so I’d expect some good news about the economy.  Not a guarantee, this is an eclipse chart and sometimes what is revealed or discovered is not happy making.  Still, Venus is more often nice than not even if to some cultures she is a war maker.

The chart is a very active one, the most of the three discussed in this article.  Some indications are: adjustments with regard to the military and defence (it would be nice if the Venus effect allowed for defence cutbacks to the benefit of civilian needs); challenge to the status quo and struggle between legislature and executive government branches reaching some sort of a peak; striving for scientific and technological refinement clashing with the status quo (telecom, Internet, nuclear, are likely zones of this contention); and awareness of social unrest over the increasing distancing of what was formerly a middle class from the financial well being enjoyed by corporations.  There are definitely echoes of the sorts of struggles of the Sixties that included anti-war, civil rights, and movements to empower the disempowered.  This will be a very active and challenging time.

For individuals 9 degrees of the Cardinal Signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) are activated by the eclipse and folks with points there will most likely be part of the shadow play, that may not seem so shadowy after all.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Silly Season: About the Void of Course Moon

Silly Season
About the Void of Course Moon
or De evacuatione cursus luna
[Cursus means course by the way, not curse.]

“ . . . when the Moon in transit makes the last major aspect it will make before it changes from one sign of the zodiac to the next. It ends when the Moon enters the next sign. The name of this period is Void of Course Moon. You may call it a silly season or vacation from normal living.”  -- Al H. Morrison

I began my study of the Void of Course Moon in the 1970s with the help of the little annual Void of Course Moon ephemerides prepared by the astrologer Al H. Morrison.  Since then, noting voids is as common to me as tracking the phases of the Moon and the Signs she transits.

The astrology is that the Moon "wanders aimlessly," after making that last aspect; that things just don't seem to connect or click into gear.

For example, on a shopping trip one may buy something that later you ask, “Now what was I thinking? What did I get that for?” I like the image of a child's power boat in a tub of water, bumping here and taking off there, but ultimately not going much of anywhere.

Far from impeding me from action or outings I am delighted with long VOC days. I stick to my shopping list as much as I can, always find a parking place, and sometimes enjoy whatever not-on-the-list oddity that I bring home.

"Every couple of days there comes a time which is best used for subjective, spiritual non-material concerns, like prayer, yoga, play, psychotherapy, or passive experience, sleep or meditation.

"This period may last a few seconds, or it may be three days and nights in a single session.”  [When we have many planets in the early degrees of Sign the likelihood of the Moon spending longer times Void of Course (VOC) increases.]

"It begins when the Moon in transit makes the last major aspect it will make before it changes from one sign of the zodiac to the next. It ends when the Moon enters the next sign. The name of this period is Void of Course Moon. You may call it a silly season or vacation from normal living.

"Decision making in such periods turns out later to be unrealistic. Creativity diverges into unpleasant directions, improvisations, false starts, error. Business moves fail to generate profits, or meet unexpected difficulties. If you buy any object it usually fails of its intended use.

"Human judgment is more fallible than usual during the time the Moon is Void of Course. This is the principle factor in all observed experience thus far.

"Routine proceeds readily, but often requires an adjustment later. Defects or shortages come to light. Delay and frustration are commonly experienced while the Moon is Void of Course.

"Neurotic tendencies, bad habits are more open to change. ESP experiments show odd results.

"Historic events during such periods have a wild, Pandora’s Box impact on cultural evolution. The first two dozen successful spaceshots were all launched with the Moon Void of Course, to open an all-new age in which old concepts and ideas are corrected or disproven.

"In every presidential election from 1900 through 1972 one of the two major party candidates was nominated with the Moon Void of Course. Every one of the candidates nominated with the Moon Void of Course lost.

"Jimmy Carter's 1980 nomination came in a Void of Course Moon."

From Al H. Morrison’s “Void of Course Moon Ephemeris.”

For more on Al see:

On her website Debbi Kempton-Smith notes that Al Gore’s 2000 nomination and John Kerry’s 2004 nomination both occurred with the Moon VOC.

Astrology, the Cosmos, and Life, can all be pretty complex, and this technique of analyzing the flow of time is no exception.  For example, there is another range of astrological aspects that occurs in declination; the parallel and the contraparallel.

The PARALLEL is an aspect made in declination (angular distance North or South of the celestial equator ... like latitude on earth) when two planets share the same degree N or S.  In a CONTRAPARALLEL the aspect is made when one planet is the same degree N declination as another is S.

When we include these aspects (and/or Ptolemaic aspects to the Nodes of the Moon, which horary astrologers may also utilize) the period of VOC may be shortened.

I utilize both.  For my primary analysis I use the aspects in longitude but for fine tuning or detailed electional or horary work, I include the aspects in declination.

The VOC concept applies to the motion of all of the planets.  Robert Zoller notes in his translation of Guido Bonatti’s Liber astronomiae: Tractatus Tertius, Section II, Chapter X (written around 1277, was reputed "the most important astrological work produced in Latin in the 13th century").

“After one planet has been joined to another, and their conjunction has been completed, and after completion has been passed over, so that one of them is separated from the other and, after the separation, is joined to no other planet, it is called void of course until it is joined to another, or seeks its conjunction as was said elsewhere and this is a certain impediment to it.”

Here the only aspect considered is the conjunction but the idea of an “impediment” is clear.

Kaye Shinker writes:  “Early in my study of astrology I was a clerk for our Weight Watchers group. I did a short research project, if someone signed up for the program on a void of course moon would they stick with it or would they drop out. Results 60% stuck with the program.  My conclusion, start the program on a VOC moon. I did not consider the phase of the moon.”
-- Kaye Shinker, Instructor of Financial Astrology,

Since I am writing this on April 27, 2011, with the Moon VOC, it is likely that I’ll revisit it for a tune-up somewhere along the line.  I also notice that “The Royal Wedding” of Prince William and Kate Middleton occurs with the Moon VOC.  Hmmm.  [Prince William & Kate Middleton wedding, Apr 29 2011, 11:00 AM, Westminster,

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ophiuchus is a Constellation, not a Sign

Misunderstanding Ophiuchus vel Serpentarius

Ophiuchus is a Constellation, not a Sign
Ophiuchus holding the serpent, Serpens, as depicted in Urania's Mirror, a set of constellation cards published in London c.1825.
I thought it would be easy to link my December 2010 comments on Ophiuchus from Gather to Facebook but no.  So I am putting them together into this blog post to have them handy.

Ophiuchus silliness has been getting attention periodically for goodness knows how long.  My first dealing with it was in the Nineteen Eighties, so long ago that my articles on the subject predate computer files.  I am not going to try to find those.

About a month ago a user posted “the Zodiac is wrong” hoax believing it to be true.  I wrote two or three comments to clarify the facts and a couple of those I linked to my Facebook wall.  This was several weeks before the latest mid-January 2011 flap that I understand was ignited by one or more of the corporate conglomerates (NBC?).

I will start here with something that I collected from the wonderful, recently departed, Jack Horkheimer. 

“In Greek mythology, Ophiuchus, known to the Greeks as Asclepius, the son of Apollo was a great healer.  He even learned how to restore the dead to life.  According to the tale Ophiuchus was contemplating the tragic death of the young son of King Minos when a snake crawled toward the body.  Ophiuchus killed the snake but another appeared.  This one carrying an herb in its mouth which it placed in the mouth of the dead serpent.  The snake revived and Ophiuchus snatched the herb and placed it on the body of Minos' son.  He too revived.  Incidentally, that's why the modern day symbol for physicians is two snakes entwined around a staff.

“Ophiuchus used the secret herb to resurrect hundreds of people.  Pluto, god of the Underworld complained to Jupiter who sent Aquila, the Eagle, to kill Ophiuchus with one of his thunderbolts.  But that enraged Apollo so Jupiter made Ophiuchus immortal and placed him in the stars.”

[Transcribed from "Star Date" radio spot for May 7, 1993.]
Kepler's drawing of the fellow
The hoax, myth, error, or what have you:

“The 13th Zodiac constellation [sic] is Ophiuchus, the serpent bearer. The sun moves through Ophiuchus in late November and early December.”

The constellation Ophiuchus does intersect the ecliptic* where we find the constellations of the Zodiac.  The key word here is constellation.  A Tropical Zodiac Sign is not a constellation.

Wikipedia gives us “Ophiuchus is a large constellation located around the celestial equator [plane of Earth’s equator extended into space]. Its name is Greek (Ὀφιοῦχος) for 'serpent-bearer', and it is commonly represented as a man grasping the snake that is represented by the constellation Serpens. Ophiuchus was one of the 48 constellations listed by the second-century astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations.”

The Zodiac that most of us know and love is not based on constellations but on the seasons.  Twelfths of the circle, 30 degree segments of the 360 degrees the earth makes around the Sun, are named the 12 Zodiac Signs.

The segments are based on the solstices and equinoxes. The Spring Equinox marks zero Aries, the Summer Solstice, zero Cancer, the Autumn Equinox, zero Libra and the Winter Solstice, zero Capricorn. Those four mark 90 degree segments that are divided in thirds, each 30 degrees named for a Sign.

That system uses the names of near ecliptic constellations for the twelfths, the Signs. Those were in close alignment with the seasonal based Signs about 2100 years ago.
 Today the Tropical Signs are about 24 degrees out of alignment to the constellations which names they bear. The Zodiac is based though, not on those constellations, but on Solstices and Equinoxes (the seasons).

The Zodiac of Siderealists and Vedic astrologers is linked to constellations.  Talk to them about what to do with Ophiuchus.

The question is shall we plug a constellation into sun-sign astrology? That is the most recognized and popular astrology and the way most astrologers find their way to astrology. There are many who go with the notion that there are twelve types of people and give them different interpretations. Linda Goodman is the most famous of who I call “Signologists”. In order to reach wide audiences, to give something to the general populace via media, Signology is probably necessary. I've written columns for "Signs" myself, I do not mean to dismiss the effort or the art, but in-depth horoscope analysis is far superior to what can be gleaned from Sun Signs.

If one is going to utilize Signs based on the Tropical Zodiac, plugging in a constellation is a very iffy exercise. To repeat what I pointed out earlier, the Zodiac of Signs that most people refer to (whether they understand its astronomical foundation or not), that we learn by calendar dates that our birth occurred with the Sun in this or that Sign, is established by solstices and equinoxes, NOT by constellations.

The Zodiac of constellations is not popularly used in Western Astrology but is the basis for Hindu (Vedic) astrology and is a legitimate astrology. There are active schools of modern sidereal (constellational) astrology in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere. It is just not the astrology that is commonly used and understood by the general populace as astrology.

I don’t think it matters so much WHICH astrology one uses, as long as one is well schooled and skilled in its use.
  Cosmos' message via the stars is too awesome for just one approach.  In terms of astrology, it's the singer, not the song.  However, it does make sense, if one is after consistent results, not to mix Signs with constellations.

Maybe what happens when a particular date range gets focus as from a “look how this constellation overlaps this Sign” is that it draws attention to a zone of the Sign and what is achieved is a deeper understanding of the Sign rather than something separate and different.

Post comments or questions here or send them via email.

*The Ecliptic is a great circle of the Earth's path around the Sun (apparently, the path of the Sun around the Earth).  Astrologers use the Ecliptic as the center of the belt of the Zodiac that is like a measuring tape marked with 12 signs of 30 degrees each.

Astrologers use a birth chart (horoscope) calculated for an individual.  By using the exact time and place of birth, the horoscope shows distinctions between the thousands of people born on the same day.  The astrologer interprets the chart by translating a symbolic language.

There are millions of people born with the same Sign.  People are not Signs ... that sort of idea leads to stereotyping and prejudice. There is no such thing as an absolute . . .  whatever Sign you want to name.

Astrology has been in use for thousands of years.  The practice of connecting people with Signs was begun by the "media astrologer," R. H. Naylor in the first part of the Twentieth Century; a rather new development.  It caught on and now you can find so-called astrology columns in newspapers, magazines, and on websites worldwide.

Original text copyright © Tim Rubald 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Eclipse Part IV 2010-2011 fits the news January 5, 2011

‎"The most emphasized body at that location (at the Rising degree of the chart) is the big asteroid Ceres. Ceres is the Earth Mother asteroid. Her glyph resembles the sickle, the tool used for centuries for harvesting grain. The suggestion is that food is in emphasis for the period. We can expect both crises that bring food to world consciousness as well as worldwide efforts to deal with hunger and agriculture."