This New Moon is effectively in conjunction with Pluto and Mercury – and it also happens to be one of this year's Supermoons – a lunation occurring at the perigee (closest point to Earth in the Moon's eliptical orbit). Coincidentally, the Earth is also at its closest orbital point to the Sun in early January – counterintuitive to us in the Northern hemisphere when we are in the depth of our winter, however northern winters are relatively short in comparison with the other seasons due to this astronomical fact. Coupled with an opposition to Jupiter retrograde in watery Cancer, which is in turn in a watery trine to Saturn in Scorpio, this all adds up to a watery and disruptive signature reflecting the unseasonably high tides and floods we are experiencing currently. Although widely understood that that lunar activity influences the tides, it is often forgotten that the same gravitational factors affect the Earth's groundwater, too – severe inland flooding in Worcestershire and Oxfordfordshire bear witness to this.
Although essentially a civil date, established in Roman times, and there is no apparent celestial reason for the date of January 1 for the start of the year, every year at midnight on December 31, just as the old year slips away and the new one begins, the fixed star Sirius – the very brightest star in the heavens at a magnitude of -1.4 – is at his highest point in the northern hemisphere. Sirius sits in the constellation of Canis Major and is also known as the Dog Star. Associated with the mouth of the dog – the most dangerous part – it has been viewed with foreboding by writers such as Homer and astrolgers including Manilus. The Egyptians gave Sirius much importance, while Ptolemy gave it the nature of Jupiter and Mars – elevating and active. At 14 Can 05, Sirius is just over 2 degrees from Jupiter in the New Year chart – and given the brightness of both bodies, it is tempting to allow a little more lassitude with orbs than normally given with fixed stars. Especially when there is a report about Snoopy Island in the news – a volcanic island rising from the deep off the coast of Japan in the shape of a cartoon dog... I love it so much that I'm revising my position on orbs (only slightly, mind, and only in exceptional circumstances, where cartoon dogs are involved) – a topic we visited later in the evening in the discussion on forecasting.
|Snoopy Island: volcanic activity off the coast of Japan |
caused the formation of a new island in early 2014
The retrogades this year are interesting; the year starts with both benefics retreating, then in early March, the malefics take over the retrograde show with Mars going retro at 27 Lib 30 on March 2nd and Saturn at 23 Sco 19 on the 4th. It will be interesting to note the change in mood as this change unfolds.
Not a huge amount has been written about retrogrades, and it's a subject I'd like to address later in the year, so please do let me know if you have any thoughts on the subject... The pairings of benefics and malefics, I thought, was interesting, with Jupiter retreating in his exaltation (an interesting perspective, potentially, on growth?) paired with Venus in her fall (does the retrograde motion emphasise or ameliorate this?) and Mars and Saturn in a grim mutual reception scenario... More of this later in the year when I've had time to do some processing (doubtless in a typical retrograde manner – two steps forward, two steps back), but all thoughts most welcome.