Eclipse 2017: The Beginning of the Pathway

As noted in the last post in mundane astrology there are always loads and loads of charts to consider. This is reasonable as one is not dealing with a single question as in a horary chart but with a collective. The more charts, the more detail and the more possiblity of observing a development. We will look here at a limited set of three charts for the first state that is in the eclipse path. These are the Grand Conjunction chart, the spring equinox 2017 chart and the eclipse chart for the capital of Oregon (Salem).

Traditionally an eclipse is an ominous event. What we want to look at here is what will the event leave as potential in its trail?

Salem, Oregon:

Salem Oregon_grandConjunction2000

Salem, Oregon: Grand Conjunction, 28 May 2000, 16:05 GMT

Salem Oregon_springEquino2017

Salem, Oregon: Spring Equinox, 20 March 2017, 10:29 GMT

Salem Oregon_eclipse2017

Salem Oregon: Solar Eclipse 2017, 21 August 2017, 18:26 GMT

Where do we begin?

We will keep it simple at the moment and only look at the climatic condition. That means we will focus on the 1st house. It might be helpful to envision a best case and worst case scenario before you look at the charts. If for example we look at the climatic/geological situation; the best case is beautiful weather, the worst case is seismic activity, storm, floods or some other form of upheaval. For the latter to happen there must be strongly debilitated planets and these are triggered in most of the charts you look at. Generally you will find that nothing is triggered. The status quo is maintained. Nothing happens – or at least nothing noticeable.

No matter where you are the planetary alignments for each of the three charts is the same for any location on earth.The difference is in the angles and the house rulerships.That is where we will start. The chart for Salem, Oregon will look different from that of Columbia, South Carolina the state at the end of the eclipse path because the angles will be different.

Let us look at the angles (Note: only close aspects within 1 degree are considered here as significant). In the GC (Grand Conjunction) chart 25 deg 21 Cancer is on the Asc and 5 deg 08 Aries on the MC. Also on the angles are the nodes of the Moon (SN on Asc) and the Moon is 2 degrees from the MC. On the Spring Equinox (SEq) 06 deg 21 Capricorn is on the Asc and 04 deg 37 Scorpio on the MC. There are no planets on the angles. In the eclipse 2017 chart 25 deg 34 Libra is on the Asc and 01 deg 29 Leo is on the MC. There are no planets directly on the angles.

The GC Jupiter/Saturn at 22 deg 43 Taurus is not activated in the SEq or the eclipse chart.

There is only one trigger point and that is Venus at 24 deg 44 Cancer during the solar eclipse. The Asc of the GC chart is within one degree of conjunction. Venus is the highest elevated planet in the eclipse chart and is not debilitated (she is in her triplicity). She is also Lady of the Asc in the eclipse chart.

We might also want to note that the Moon the Lady of the Asc in the GC chart is in a similar position to that of Venus in the eclipse chart. She too is the most highly elevated planet and close to the MC.

What does all of this tell us about the condition of the land and its inhabitants – the 1st house? From what we can see the Asc of the GC is activated in the eclipse chart by Venus who is also Lady of the Ascendant in the eclipse chart. Venus is benevolent and not debilitated. She has accidental dignity by being the highest elevated planet and close to the MC. The land and its inhabitants are quiet and content – from the point of view of the climate. Nothing even close to the worst case scenario mentioned above is expected.

Maria Thun’s Planting Calendar 2011

This is a classic amongst the planting calendars – the 2011 calendar is the 49th edition!. Although I am familiar with the German edition there is also an edition that is available for North America (The North American Biodynamic Sowing and Planting Calendar 2011 ISBN 0863157564):

Maria Thun uses the sidereal zodiac and also pays especial attention to the Moon’s monthly changes from highest northern and southern declinations. This is not to be confused with the Moon’s apogee and perigree – which she also considers. When the Moon has reached her highest northern declination and begins to “descend”  is the period that Maria Thun calls the planting period. This is the best time to sow or set plants as the lunar processes working on them are directed toward the soil and encourage good rooting, which is very important for a plant. When the Moon has reached her most southerly declination and once again “ascends” the planting period is over. Here the lunar processes are directed toward the rising of the plant sap through the stem into the leaves and fruit. This is for example the best time to harvest especially if the harvest is to be stored.

Maria Thun also classifies plants as “root”, “leaf”, “blossom” and “fruit” plants. Each plant type is associated more strongly with a particular element. A “root” plant, like carrot, beet or the potato is an “earth” plant. A “leaf” plant, like salad, cabbage or spinach is a “water” plant. A “blossom” plant, like the rose is an “air” plant. And a “fruit” plant, like the pea, tomato or apple is a “fire” plant. Caring for each of these plant types when the Moon is in that particular element insures the best possible results. Remember Maria Thun uses the sidereal zodiac. She has rigourously experimented from the very beginning. And so for example she will explore what happens when Kohlrabi, a “leaf” plant is sowed on a leaf, fruit, root or blossom day. Her results? Kohlrabi planted and attended to on a leaf day is round and tender. If it was planted and attended to on a fruit day it tends to become bumpy and slightly hard. On root days it becomes woody and develops a rough outer skin and finally on flower days it tends to bolt.

Maria Thun also associates the planets to the elements in a unique manner:

  • Saturn, Mercury and Pluto are “fire” planets
  • the Sun is an “earth” planet
  • Jupiter, Venus and Uranus are “air” planets
  • Mars, Moon and Neptune are “water” planets

This particular association with the elements also has a meteorological component. Fascinating and quite honestly I am quite intrigued that the Sun should be an “earth” planet.

Let in the Rain…

One of the central interests of Astro-Meteorology, and probably  the oldest field of astrological interest, is which planetary configurations favour rain. The first level is knowing which planets are wet and which dry. The next level is how they interact with one another. The fluctuation between temperature and moisture and their planetary connection was noted by Johannes Kepler, though he was by far not the first, nor the last to discuss this. (We speak nowadays mostly of the interaction of cold and warm fronts, although usually no planetary connection is taken into consideration.) The third level is of course how planetary configurations effect local conditions. This is important as any single planetary configuration applies to all of the earth. Methods of localization need to be taken into consideration here.

Of the traditional planets, along with the Moon, Venus is considered to be the wettest. Saturn also plays a role because of his crystallizing tendencies. He causes moisture to condense. In modern Astro-Meteorology Neptune is also considered to be a very ‘wet’ planet, though interestingly enough after his discovery Astro-Meteorologists first explored the possibility of his being warm, dry and stormy. They did however add that such “…predictions must be to some extent speculative.” (Alfred Pearce’s discussion of Neptune around 1863). More recently George McCormack wrote of Neptune being, “the most pluvial of all the celestial bodies.”

There are of course many configurations between wet and dry planets. Let us choose one. Venus in configuration with either Mars or the Sun. I’ll note it as:
Venus : Mars/Sun,
where the configuration, “:” can be an aspect by longitude or declination.

Take a peek into your ephemeris and look for the next significant configuration between Venus to either Mars or the Sun. You will find it on the 13th of October, 2009. Venus sextiles Mars on this day, and not only that she has just previously, in the same degree, also conjuncted Saturn. This is an intensive conjunction as she is also at the same declination of Saturn and is therefore parallel. Let us note it thus:
Venus : Mars + Venus :: Saturn
we can expect this aspect to be very pluvial. But that doesn’t mean everywhere. There we need to place it into the locality. This is best done by casting a chart for the location when this aspect is exact. From my previous discussion on expecting more from aspects we may also take the standpoint that the effectiveness of this aspect is not only on the day it takes place but already begins one to two days before (application) and will last for two days afterwards (separation). So we are looking at the period from the 11th of October to the 15th.

I will be looking at three charts for my location. These are the previous lunar phase (Last Quarter on the 11th of October), the partile Venus/Mars sextile and the preceding partile Venus/Saturn conjunction and parallel within 29 seconds of arc. You might want to cast these three charts for your location (I am using GMT so you can take the GMT time for your location) and then observe what the weather conditions were in this period. It would certainly be very interesting if these observations were to be posted as a comment here when the time comes.

Last Quarter Moon:

Last Quarter Moon, Oct. 11, 2009, 10:55 am GMT

Last Quarter Moon, Oct. 11, 2009 8:55 am GMT

Important for location are the 4th house and Ascendant, respectively. The Moon/Sun square is not predominant in this chart. The Lords of both the 4th and 1st house are also not prominently placed. Uranus is in the 4th house and Venus, Saturn and Mercury occupy the 10th house, with Venus and Saturn being in the same sign as the MC and Mercury in the following sign.

Venus/Saturn conjunction:

Venus/Saturn Conjunction, Oct. 13, 2009 10:51 GMT

Venus/Saturn Conjunction, Oct. 13, 2009 10:51 GMT

In this chart the 4th house is immediately brought into focus by the trine of the Moon at 17 Leo 37. Also Lord 4 is Mars, who is already in sextile to the Venus/Saturn conjunction. Jupiter, Lord 1 is also exactly in sextile with the IC. So we can definitely speak of an activation of the locality.

Venus/Mars sextile:

Venus/Mars Sextile, Oct. 13, 2009 5:50 GMT

Venus/Mars Sextile, Oct. 13, 2009 5:50 GMT

Here the Mars/IC conjunction is immediately noticed. This particular aspect is focused on the locality, that is for sure!

Now what does it all mean? The Venus : Mars configuration occurs when Mars is focused on a locality with a cold and moist sign on the IC. So cold rainy and slightly stormy weather should be expected.

I’ll keep you posted around the 15th of October and then we can look at the charts with hindsight!

Weather: the Big Three

There are three factors that determine the weather, each in its own way and each in combination with the other. These are warmth, moisture and the movement of the atmosphere, wind. In Astro-meteorology each has a ruler. These are the Sun for warmth, the Moon for moisture and Mercury for wind. Each shows both a general weather pattern and in a particular weather chart can also provide specific information.

True to mundane astrological practice the charts that show a general weather pattern are either ingress charts (for the Sun and Mercury) or Lunar phase charts. So the general pattern of warmth is shown by the ingress of the Sun into Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn; the solstice and equinox points. The general moisture pattern can be read from the Lunar Phase, most importantly the New and Full Moon. The general wind pattern can be read from the ingress of Mercury into a sign. This is generally monthly.

Let us look at some charts:

Solar Ingress into Cancer, 2009

Solar Ingress into Cancer, 2009

Here is the Solar Ingress into Cancer on the 21st of June for my location (Bavaria, Germany). Unlike a natal chart, the most important house in a weather chart is not the Ascendant (the Ascendant has only secondary importance) but the 4th house. This is the location, the place where the weather will be happening. So, what information does the 4th house give us? Libra, a warm and moist sign is on the cusp. This promises some warmth for the summer season, but also moisture. But there are modifying factors. The first being the condition of the Ruler, in this chart Venus, and the second any direct aspects to the cusp, in this chart, the trine from the Moon/Mercury conjunction. Cool Venus in domicile in Taurus, a cold and dry sign in conjunction to warm Mars in detriment in cold and dry Taurus promises a cooler summer. Venus generally enhances any moisture and the conjunction with Mars suggests the collision of a warm and cold fronts, which in the summer season usually generate thunderstorms.  The Moon/Mercury conjunction promises plenty of moisture and wind so the general forecast will include plenty thunderstorms and more then enough wind and rain. The general warmth pattern is constant alternation between warm and cool. It might also be noted that the 12th house position of the Sun also hinders a full development of its nature.  No BBQ summer for Bavaria!

Now let us look at the moisture pattern for the end of June. Here we use the New Moon chart, which also is a solar eclipse chart:

New Moon 21st June 2009 (solar eclipse)

New Moon 22nd July 2009 (solar eclipse)

Here cold and dry Virgo is on the IC. Cold Saturn is conjunct the IC. Mercury, L4 is in warm and dry Leo separating from a sextile to Mars. Venus in warm and moist Gemini squares the IC. The Moon eclipses the Sun at the very end of cold and moist Cancer. Also to be noted is how Mercury L4 picks up on or reactivates (by sextile) the Mercury/Moon conjunction of the Ingress chart. So what does this tell us about the moisture situation? At first glance we might be inclined to say dry. But there are important factors against this. First the Moon is in her own sign, and Cancer is wet. Secondly Venus square Saturn on the IC tends to condense any available moisture. Low and dark clouds pregnant with moisture and the winds to carry them! Particularly through the reactivation of the Ingress Moon/Mercury conjunction. Mercury L4 in hot Leo, enhances summer thunderstorm activity. So the amount of moisture to be expected is above average.

And what about the wind situation?

Mercury Ingress, July 18, 2009

Mercury Ingress, July 18, 2009

And what is the situation in the 4th house? Though not L4, Mercury is in the 4th house but not in the same sign (please note, my software absolutely insists on placing the ingress at 29 Cancer 59!). So the wind potential is somewhat lessened. The Sun in the 4th house in Cancer and Moon L4 in Taurus in the 1st house favour winds carrying low-lying moisture laden clouds.

During this period in July it was generally rainy, with some very hot days, quickly followed by thunderstorms. Generally, for July it was very cool with average temperatures of around 18* C only a few days had temperatures above 25*C.

Dear reader, of course it is justified to say that I am writing out of hindsight. If you want to read a weather forecast for the season for Devonshire, using the method demonstrated above, please visit Caroline Allen’s site. She has written an excellent weather forecast for her location and she has been more accurate so far than the British Met who predicted a BBQ Summer! Here is the link.

A Visit to Potsdam: a Weather Horary

My wife and I recently visited Potsdam, renowned for the Sans Souci summer palace built by the Prussian king, Frederick the Great. About a week before leaving I took the opportunity to ask a horary on what the weather would be like during our visit.

Here is the chart:

Weather in Potsdam for June 8-12

Weather in Potsdam for June 8-12

It always fascinates me how often a horary chart reflects a clearly formulated question (of course the opposite is usually true, a fuzzy question  has a fuzzy chart). The question was a ‘we’ question and so it is not surprising that a double-bodied sign is on the Ascendant and that the ruler, Mercury should also be placed in the 9th house of journeys. Taurus a cold and dry sign is on the cusp of the 9th house. Along with Mercury, the Sun is also in the 9th, but in the warm and moist sign, Gemini. What interested me in this chart was whether Mercury could be used not only as the Significator of my wife and myself but also as a Significator for the weather as well.

I predicted cool but dry weather with some stormy weather, little rain. Cool means cool for the season. If it had been winter than freezing weather could have been expected. But in summer this means temperatures that are below normal. I was also interested to see if it would also be stormy.

How was the weather in Potsdam? It was partly cloudy with the Sun peeking through. The clouds were low, but there was little rain. There were also longer sunny gaps inbetween. The temperatures were between 14-21 * C (57 –  70* F). Only on Thursday was there really stormy weather with rain. Where did the rainy day come from? Mercury is applying square to Jupiter at 26*53 Aquarius and interestingly enough when partile also conjuncts Algol.

Here is a photo that pretty much sums up how the weather was: