Monday, February 21, 2011

Ophiuchus & the Ecliptic

Ophiuchus & the Ecliptic
western zodiac v eastern zodiac
I am happy that all of us can remain the signs that we are for whatever the astrological designation we and the zodiac (tropical or sidereal) are all part of the Grand Illusion of the separated self. Just ask any Buddhist. - Alan Oken
You've probably heard (way too much) about this subject by now. It seems the constellation Ophiuchus is having its 15 minutes of fame in the modern world where information goes viral and global very quickly. Btw, Ophiuchus is pronounced 'off-ee-YOO-kuss' - I hope you will say that 10x real fast.)
Let me first preface this with saying that trying to understand this subject (of precession and the difference between zodiac signs and constellations) takes time. Here are some thoughts:
The story that broke in the mainstream press last month about 'the wrong zodiac' sign failed to mention this simple fact: most of us are different zodiac signs depending on which astrological system the astrologer is using.
There are two astrological systems involved: (1) the Western Astrology system (also known as the 'tropical' zodiac, which is used in the US and UK and other Western countries); (2) the Eastern astrology system (also known as 'sidereal' or Vedic, which is used primarily in India).
The reason we have two zodiacs is because of something called 'Precession of the Equinoxes' which comes from the tilt and the slow wobble of the earth's axis. About 2,000 years ago, the tropical signs aligned with the sidereal signs. Now they have precessed backwards by about 23 degrees. The sidereal zodiac currently begins each year in Pisces rather than Aries which is the reason why we are on a long cusp of the transition from Pisces to Aquarius.
Because the earth is tilted, when it rotates, the north pole draws a circle in the sky. Picture a top spinning, especially as it slows down - the tip is writing a circle in the air. This circle is what we call the ecliptic. The 12 zodiac signs lie on this circle. They are the constellations which impact life on earth as we know it. There are 88 modern constellations - but only 12 of them are considered in Western astrology. Eastern Astrology can take more into account because they are NOT working with the ecliptic, the imaginary circle in the sky.
This circle - the ecliptic - also delineates the Cardinal directions (Cardinal? does that ring a bell? Hint - the epochal Cardinal Cross of last summer, a game-changer if ever there was one.) These directions are associated with the Solstices and Equinoxes which are also specific to earth and our seasonal journey around the sun. Winter Solstice = North, Summer Solstice = South, Spring Equinox = East, Autumnal Equinox = West. A circle is, of course, 360*. Western astrologers have divided the circle into 12 equal parts, 12 signs of 30* each, based on this natural rhythm, this natural structure of life on earth in this particular solar system.
From our perspective on earth as we revolve around our central star, the Sun, the view of the skies is defined by our own peculiar movement in the galaxy. The 12 zodiac signs describe life on earth. The 88 constellations describe the entire galaxy. Keep in mind that our Sun is simply one of billions of stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
I personally recommend the Western system for those living in the Western world, as a place to start in understanding your chart. Then the Eastern system can be added to your understanding. In my opinion, we resonate most closely with the zodiac system corresponding to where we were born and raised.
re precession & the zodiac
Some homework for you (there will be pop quizzes so study up):
Video by Bruce Scofield, a professor of geoscience and evolution - and an astrologer:
Video by my teacher Cayelin Castell on this subject:
Article by my teacher Cayelin Castell on this subject:
Article by the astrologer Eric Francis:
An article by sidereal astrologer Nick Anthony Fiorenza (the animated graphic is especially helpful)
And - I saved the best for last - Rachel Maddow refuses to change her zodiac sign. She does a great job of explaining magnetic fields and explores the topic of the 13th Zodiac Sign. Getting to Know You
Meet: The Serpent Bearer
Jesus, intensely moved again, came to the tomb ... they took away the stone. Jesus ... shouted in a loud voice, Lazarus, come out! The one who had died came out, his feet and hands tied up with strips of cloth, and a cloth wrapped around his face. Jesus said to them, Unwrap him and let him go.- John 11:40-53
We must combine the toughness of the serpent with the softness of the dove, a tough mind and a tender heart. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
As described above, Ophiuchus is not a zodiac sign - it is a constellation. Only the toe of Ophiuchus touches the ecliptic, the pathway of the sun we use in the Western zodiac system of 12. The Sun transits this region of the sky each December between Scorpio and Sagittarius. If you are born between Nov 29 and Dec 17, you are influenced by Ophiuchus but you are still Scorpio (November 29 - November 21) or Sagittarius (November 22 - December 17).
Ophiuchus is also known as Serpentarius, the Serpent Holder. The primary fixed star in Serpentarius is Alpha Ophiuchi, also known as Rasalhauge, and marks the third eye of the Serpent Bearer. Ophiuchus is usually depicted holding a stick on which a serpent is coiled. This symbol is now used as the symbol of Western medicine. The snake represents the healing side of the ancient goddess.
HEALING: Ophiuchus was the ancient Greek God of Healing, Asclepius, a famous physician who was trained by Chiron in the healing arts. He was believed to be the first great surgeon.
RESURRECTION: Ophiuchus hovers over the constellation Scorpius. The ancient myths described Opiuchus' ability to subdue the Scorpion, an energy associated with death. Thus, Asclepius is associated with resurrection and rebirth, abilities taught to him by a snake that revived its dead mate with a healing herb it carried in its mouth. The snake has long been another symbol for Scorpio.
DREAMS: One of the key practices in Asclepius' healing temples was the interpretation of the dreams of patients to determine the method of treatment.
ST PAUL, MOSES, ST. BENEDICT: "Later, under Christian influence, this constellation became Saint Paul with the Maltese Viper; Moses who held up the blazing serpent in the wilderness; and lastly Saint Benedict, the founder of the Benedictine monks, standing among thorns." - Bernadette Brady
DRUGS: Ancient asssociations with the star Rasalhaugue in Ophiuchus include overuse of drugs, humanitarianism and tremendous visualization.
MOVEMENT AND RIDING THE WAVES: Michael Smulkis and Fred Rubenfield (Starlight Elixirs & Cosmic Vibrational Healing) associate Rasalhauge with the flow of energy within the body during movement, martial arts, or dance - combined with visualization. They also associate it with the 'gravity waves' emitted from stars and planets and the fun of learning to 'surf' these waves and express them in the human body - intertwining the etheric, physical, mental and emotional bodies as we move our physical form. This is 'the healing of the body by manipulation of the etheric body' and through creative visualization.
Zeta Ophiuchus
faster than a supernova-propelled hot blue supergiant
On October 17, 1604 Johannes Kepler, a German mathematician, astrologer and astronomer began observing a supernova and studied it because he knew it was highly important. The location of this historic event was inside the 13th sign of the zodiac.
To add to the sudden eruption of consciousness around Ophiuchus: on January 21, 2011 - one week after the Ophiuchus media blast - an image came in fresh from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). This incredibly beautiful and recent image is at the top of this newsletter and can also be seen, with the full story, at this link:
It is an image of the star Zeta Ophiuchi, located 458 light-years from Earth (and 20-times the mass of our sun) in the constellation of Ophiuchus. Why is Zeta Ophiuchi so special? It's a runaway star, traveling at a breakneck speed of 87,000 kilometers per hour (or 24 kilometers per second). How did it get accelerated to that speed?
Ripped from a stellar nursery, the massive Zeta Ophiuchi probably used to have an even larger binary partner that exploded as a supernova. So, like a hammer thrower spinning quickly at the Olympic Games, the blue supergiant star was treated like the hammer, released from the gravitational embrace of its exploding sibling in an instant. At the moment of detonation, it's orbital momentum shot it off into space at high speed.
As mentioned, the blue star near the center of the image at the top of this newsletteris Zeta Ophiuchi. When seen in visible light it appears as a relatively dim red star surrounded by other dim stars and (see image above right). Ahead of Zeta Ophiuchi, which is a runaway star racing through space at high speed, is a brilliant bow shock, seen as a yellow arc in this image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
The powerful stellar wind coming from Zeta Ophiuchi compresses the gas and dust in front of the star, creating a curved feature called a bow shock that resembles the shape that water takes in front of a speeding boat (or in this case, as seen in the photo at top, a bird's profile).
Faster than a supernova-propelled, hot blue supergiant - hammered into space at breakneck speed like a runaway train, creating bow SHOCK in its wake? Indeed. And that's exactly how the level of change feels here on earth when this image 'appeared.' Ripped out of our nursery, we are growing up.
X-ray Sources & Neutron Stars
harnessing our sensual nature with light
The universe conspires toward purity, Pushes deep, Deep into the darkness Beyond fear and pain, Tossing motes to the wind. The fierce exultation Lulls, Droops over itself into a pool. A willow can bend so far, Diving into the river where it weeps Weeps, catching those souls Who flow past concealed, womblike, In preparation for a new birth. We push through, Running a hard breath. The birds catch sunset winds On their wingtips. They sail Before the enflamed clouds in apparent freedom. We, too, soar midway between earth and sky, Reaching toward both, Blood and fire beating in our hearts. - South Portland
Nick Anthony Fiorenza tells us about this area of the sky: "there is magnetism here, with strong attractive qualities luring those who may be lost in sensual currents." And that the Ophiuchan star Han (Zeta Ophiuchi) is related to the "conscious use of our carnal nature and sexual energy; as well as our personal transmutation, self-mastery and spiritual adeptness in the application of the primal and carnal forces of life." This is because of several x-ray sources and a neutron stars in this are. He writes:
"This is the resonance between the base chakra and the pineal gland or epiphysis, the epiphany center of the brain. This is why sacred sex can fill the body with light, the rapture or ecstasy of God, by allowing "thine eye to become single" meaning to fully turn on the pineal, to open the all-seeing eye." - Nick Anthony Fiorenza
As mentioned above, because of the position of the constellations, with Ophiuchus on top of Scorpius, the ancients had myths describing his conquest of the Scorpion. I.e. Ophiuchus is stomping on Scorpio. He is teaching us how to handle the Scorpio serpent and use it for healing, not for destruction. Pluto was demoted and now Ophiuchus stomps on Pluto's home sign of Scorpio. The brutal dark side of Pluto/Scorpio is becoming less and less relevant to life on earth.
What? How? Why Now?
It is up to us now, whether we choose to consciously evolve into our natural state of perfection, whether we will start living in the now, whether we will start taking the exploration of life into our own grasp, and realizing that we have these abilities to make a decision. - Anitheiess Jackson
The real question here is 'what does all of this mean' i.e. in a metaphysical way. Astrology is all about timing. The question with astrology is not WHY but WHY NOW. Astrologers, astronomers and geeks everywhere for at least the past 5,000 years have known about the two zodiacs, and the constellation Ophiuchus - so why did this information suddenly burst into mass consciousness NOW? As Above So Below. These happenings mirror shifts within humanity.
So... Why Now? There are many levels of why, and the turbo-astrology of this NOW on earth speaks for itself. Change is ramping up. The Aquarius Age is literally banging on the door. The current lineup of planets in Aquarius alone is mind-boggling.
The lopsidedness (of today's chart) drew my (attention). In Aquarius stood Mercury, Ceres, Sun, Mars, Moon, Neptune and Chiron. Standing nearby was Uranus in the last degrees of Pisces hanging with Jupiter in Aries. And on the other side of nearby, Pluto and Venus joined the node in clearly tipping the chart on its side. Why has no one called for the end of the world? Is this not equal to the 1962 alignment of Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius? For those who were not occupying bodies at this time, the news hype promised the Earth would split in two, mayhem would result and the world would end. - Philip Sedgewick, February 4, 2011
So -- What? How? Why Now? For the answer to this question, and many more, see Part 2 of this newsletter.
The human race will change course,
that much I can promise you
The only question is whether that change
will come about through coercion
or cooperative, open-minded exploration
Neale Donald Walsch,
Article By Prominent American Astrologer,
Carol Ann Ciocco
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