Working at the Craft

People call astrology an art: a science: a form of magic: a spiritual practice: and it is, in truth, all 4.

And it is work.

AST_014For me, it’s a lot of work.

I rarely have a chance to post anything these days. The mere fact that I have so much work that the only time I have to catch up on my reading is when I’m on a plane – and there’s so much more than astrology books I have to catch up on. Those who know me know that I love Japanese novels, science fiction, history, poetry and philosophy, etc.

I have had very little time to understand the ins and outs of my digital camera, or various types of software I need to build a site properly, or to keep up with the changes in software in general.

But I’ll try.

I’m going to work on my discipline and try to get at least 2 hours a week to update the site, and believe me, that’s going to be tough.

Anyway, let me try to get an image joined to this post, so I can get back to work.

Oh, and by the way, I’m going to start making short videos on this subject like I’ve done in the past, so everyone can get good, simple shorts about astrology to enjoy.

The Antikythera Mechanism Explored

The Antikythera Analyzed - courtesy PLOS One
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If you’ve read my post called Astral Complications, you should be familiar with the Antikythera Mechanism. When set alongside the Minoan Calendar Stone, a.k.a. the Disk of Kronos, Stonehenge and the Pyramid City of Giza, we have what I consider to be the most important artifacts of the ancient world; these objects belie the idea that ancient people were not as smart as us, because the atom bomb and global industry are modern inventions.

The purpose for this post is not to ramble on and on about it, but to introduce the best article I’ve read on the subject thus far – certainly the most scholarly one. You’ll find an exploration of its use for eclipse prediction here:

In the non-too-distant future, I’ll begin a series on the whole number ratios known since neolithic times, that helped ancient people construct both low-tech and hi-tech devices for measuring the movements of the planets with incredible accuracy. These essays will demonstrate an ancient understanding of the universe that is, in many ways, superior to the one we humans pat ourselves on the back for today.

Friday the 13th, Mercury Retrograde & the Full Moon

Friday the 13th, the “bad luck day” comes from Paraskavedekatriaphobia, the term for fear of Friday the 13th. It may have started in 1881, when a group of influential business and military skeptics would get together on Friday the 13th and try to debunk every superstition. Nobody ever died from bad luck, and their membership included five men who ended up as Presidents of the US. One historian noted that literary references to Friday the 13th were nonexistent before 1907, when the novel “Friday the 13th” by Thomas Lawson was published. It told of an unscrupulous stockbroker who panicked the markets to his advantage through superstition. It became a best seller that enabled him to buy a schooner that sank – you guessed it – on Friday the 13th.nasa shot
Another story says that the goddess Frigga, associated with Fridays by name, convened a group of 11 witches and the Devil on Friday the 13th, and made all sorts of mayhem. That must have been propaganda from the church militant; the Devil is not part of the old faith. Some say King Philip of France, enraged by the popularity and wealth of the Knights Templar, ordered their mass arrest on Friday 13th of 1307. Guess what – this story was unknown before the publication of the “DaVinci Code.”
In other words, this superstition has no basis in history or myth – it’s a modern invention based on skeptics trying to debunk superstitions.
Mercury “Retrograde” is more of a fact, but is really only a part of Mercury’s power cycle. The period of Mercury’s dominance lasts from Xraythe time it reaches the place of its greatest eastern elongation as a morning star, through it’s apparent standstill and backward movement, until it reaches its greatest western elongation and begins to look like its moving east. During that period, it makes an inferior conjunction, which means that Earth and Mercury make a straight line toward the Sun – it’s already been seen from Mars. This happens 3 or 4 times a year. So what does that mean to us?
Traditionally, it’s said that when Mercury is retrograde, it is “weakened”, but, in fact, it is emphasized, being brighter in the sky (because it’s closer to Earth during the morning star phase) and the conjunction. Matters connected with Mercury become prominent; travel, transportation, information, communication and commerce, or any type of networking. Just paying attention to details and being alert will help you avoid most problems – catching up on things you may have left on the back burner also helps.
cristina But there are things we have no control over – trucking, shipping, the internet and electronics, and especially the weather. Solar Flares, CME’s  and such may play a part  (especially if the hyperactive area of the Sun happens to be pointed toward us), as might high winds, electric or geomagnetic storms, and storm-caused damage to power lines or infrastructure. In fact, there is a named hurricane forming as I write this. The current rash of pictures from NASA and bear this out. Mars happens to be in its own power cycle – gun violence and “open carry” advocates, war, terrorism, the increasing protests in Brazil (surrounding the World Cup) and other particularly 2014_SchoolShootingsSinceNewtown1Mars-like stories have been replacing celebrity couples in the headlines.
Mercury’s current power cycle began with its maximum eastern elongation on May 25th. The retrograde station occurred on June 7th; the inferior conjunction occurs on June 19th, and the direct station is on July 1st. The western elongation point does not occur until July 12th – check the news and see what happened before the 7th when official retrograde began.
The Full Moon (which occurs late on the 12th in much of the world) of Friday the 13th certainly will skew the quality of this Mercury cycle – there’s a  Venus-Saturn opposition in the Full Moon chart that may be strong enough to “panic” financial markets. Mars forming a T-Square with Uranus and Pluto could certainly bring the Mars power cycle effects out into the open, and the Moon happens to be at maximum south declination, which usually adds to atmospheric and tidal effects. This lunation occurs close enough to the Mercury inferior conjunction to be potent, especially from the 14th to the 21st. The Moon also crosses the celestial equator within this window, and it’s closest approach to the Earth may result in strong winds, tidal surges, powerful storms and strong seismic activity during this time.Fullmoon
As you can see, it’s not all about Friday the 13th – in fact, that’s the only thing happening this week that can be written off as coincidence.

Night Sky in the West

screenshot courtesy of Stellarium -
screenshot courtesy of Stellarium –

No doubt the added constellation images help with an idea of how stunning it was to look into the sky and see Jupiter sitting on an almost straight line that runs from Pollux to Betelgeuse, with Procyon to the south. Even in the light pollution, haze and clouds, my brief peek at the sky was enough to remind me of how much more interesting the sky is if you know a little of the lore. Rather than distracting you from the image, let me say that Stellarium’s the BEST!

All platforms, desktop and mobile.


Spring Snow and the Blood Moon

Blood Moon
Please note the picture credits – click to see full size image

Here’s an excellent picture of the “Blood Moon” eclipse. It is the first of 4 total lunar eclipses – astronomers call this a tetrad. An article about the entire series will have to wait because of the night being spent on hardware and software upgrades, as well as the work that’s been keeping me from posting for so long.

Although the eclipse was visible over the great lakes, we couldn’t see it in Chicagoland because of cloudy skies and SNOW. The temperature dropped 40 degrees from the wet morning of the 14th until after the eclipse, which occurred at 2:42:16 AM on the 15th. I was expecting something like this, because, having cast the chart several days ago, I knew that Saturn had returned to the Midheaven of the local eclipse chart, where it was located in the charts of the Autumnal Equinox and Winter Solstice of 2013, which (combined with other features) gave us one of the most brutal winters we’ve had in a long time.

Note the positions of Mars and Saturn; click to view full-sized image

The charts for Spring and Summer of 2014 featured Jupiter, which usually brings warmer and moist weather. Usually the weather follows the trends set up by the solstice and equinox charts, unless a cosmic event sets up an interference pattern – and the Blood Moon eclipse certainly did.

In weather charts, the planets closest to the Midheaven Axis that usually have the most to say about local conditions. But going beyond weather, as you can see, Mars is opposite a Mercury-Uranus conjunction which happens to be 90 degrees from the Jupiter-Pluto opposition. I should have mentioned that Mars had just passed Perigee, where it’s orbit brings it closest to Earth, and it tends to be brighter than usual.

Eclipses have a somewhat “retroactive” effect, and because the Moon had just passed the conjunction of Mars (and the transit of the Grand Cross), the Moon would carry its energy to fruition. The Moon is an indicator of “local conditions” – it seems that 36 people were shot in 36 hours in the local area during the two days beforehand. The Eclipse Degree being close to a friend’s natal Jupiter caused her to lose a substantial amount of money, ruining travel plans. Mars is almost exactly conjunct my natal Mercury – bringing in the influences of Jupiter, Pluto, Uranus and transiting Mercury. I’m taking a break from upgrading my operating system and hardware at the moment. Ukrainian forces have begun to fight back against Russian militias; the Mars Midheaven line on the astral map for the Perigee passed over the eastern Ukraine, and the Jupiter/Pluto Asc-Dsc lines passed over the Ukraine at the moment of the eclipse. Dozens of other examples could be discussed here, but I must go play engineer –

Check out NASA’s eclipse map here: Visibility Map