New Moon in Pisces — March 06, 2019, 16:04 UT

Mercury turned retrograde in the last degree of Pisces on March 05, 2019. The next day, on March 06, 2019, Uranus changes signs from Aries to Taurus, and later on the same day the New Moon takes place in mid-Pisces in conjunction with Neptune, the ruler of Pisces. Two minor planets, a main belt asteroid Vesta and a trans-Neptunian object 88611 Teharonhiawako, are in conjunction with the New Moon, too.

88611 Teharonhiawako was discovered in 2001 and its orbital period around the Sun is 290 years. It is actually a binary object. The companion is quite large and named Sawiskera. The names come from the Iroquois creation myth.

Teharonhiawako was the creator god of the Iroquois and Sawiskera was his evil twin, eventually conquered by his brother. Teharonhiawako planted the first maize plant. He also created the first people: the first from the bark of a tree, the second from the sea foam, the third from the black soil and the fourth from the red earth. The main diet of the Iroquois came from farming. Maize was considered as a special gift from the creator god.

The Sabian Symbol for the New Moon is Pisces 16, “The flow of inspiration”. This can be a time for special gifts.

Full Moon in Virgo — February 19, 2019, 15:53 UT

A rare visitor from the distant parts of our solar system is passing us. Comet C/2018 Y1 (Iwamoto) on a highly elliptical orbit around the Sun is an extreme trans-Neptunian object (ETNO), “a cousin” of Sedna and the like. Comet Iwamoto’s next visit won’t happen until around 3390 AD, if ever.

The existence of the new category of ETNOs was revealed due to the search for Planet 9, a planet which nobody has observed yet, but which is at least ten times more massive than the Earth and with a diameter two to four times the Earth, orbiting the Sun somewhere in the darkness far beyond Neptune.

Comet Iwamoto was discovered in December 2018 by a Japanese amateur astronomer. It passed closest to Earth on February 13, 2019. It is a near-parabolic comet with an orbit of 1371 years. Non-periodic comets on near-parabolic orbits usually never return to the vicinity of the Sun. Now, when passing through the inner solar system, Comet Iwamoto is moving fast! It is traveling opposite direction to the planets.

Mark A. Holmes calculated Comet Iwamoto’s position at the Full Moon chart of February 19, 2019. Thank you, Mark. Comet Iwamoto is at 15+ degrees of Cancer in aspect to several planets, including the Sun and the Moon in the first degrees of Pisces and Virgo, respectively. It is opposite (180˚) Saturn and Venus in Capricorn, trine (120˚) Mercury and Neptune in Pisces, semisquare (45˚) the Moon in Virgo, sesquiquadrate (135˚) the Sun in Pisces and biseptile (103˚) Chiron in Aries.

The notable astrological event just recently was centaur Chiron’s sign change from Pisces to Aries on the day before the Full Moon, on February 18, 2019. The Moon in Virgo forms a quincunx (150˚) to Chiron at the Aries Point. The quincunx is a challenging aspect that requires adjustment. 95P/Chiron is a comet, too. Centaurs typically behave with characteristics of both asteroids and comets. Chiron was discovered in 1977 and initially designated as a minor planet, but in 1988 it brightened, developed a tail and got classified also as a comet.

Chiron was the first member of a new family of Chiron-type comets. Another member of this class is centaur Echeclus, which has showed cometary behavior more than once and now also has the cometary designation 174P/Echeclus. Any centaur getting close enough to the Sun is anticipated to become a comet. In the Full Moon chart Echeclus is in the last degree of Taurus, squaring the luminaries in Virgo and Pisces. Short period comets generally originate in the Kuiper belt whereas long period comets in the Oort cloud.

In astrology comets are seen as heralds of change. Erratic and disruptive energy can be sensed in other chart factors too, for example in the Mars-Uranus conjunction, although the luminaries form harmonious aspects to the conjunction. Pay attention (Chiron’s advice), stay focused and don’t get provoked.

New Moon in Aquarius — February 04, 2019, 21:03 UT

The Sun is in mid-Aquarius. Finland lies under a thick snow cover. January was cold, and when I look at the scenery, it is hard to believe that we are already halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. This is the time of the pagan festival called Imbolc, which marks the beginning of spring.

Candlemas, one of the oldest Christian feasts, is traditionally celebrated on February 2. On Candlemas, many Christians bring their candles to their local church, where they are blessed and then used for the rest of the year.

The Slavic feast of Dziewanna Gromniczna (Dziewanna of the Thunder Candle) is celebrated also on February 2. Traditionally the thunder candles were lighted in honor of the goddess. They were placed on windowsills as protection during storms – a custom still widely practiced in Poland. People believed that the thunder candles protected from wolf attacks, too.

Dziewanna is a pre-Christian goddess of spring and wild nature. Yellow mullein flowers (Polish: dziewanna) are her symbol. Mullein is an herb which has been used thousands of years in folk medicine. You can make tea from its leaves and use it to help with respiratory conditions. The flowers can be crushed and used as a paste to disinfect scrapes. The flowers can be used even as a hair dye. In ancient times dried stalks were dipped in wax and used as torches, especially in ceremonies held in honor of the goddess Dziewanna.


Mullein in my garden last summer.
Photo: Copyright © Kirsti Melto.

The New Moon today at 15+ degrees Aquarius is square to the scattered disc object 471143 Dziewanna at 15+ degrees of Scorpio. 471143 Dziewanna is the latest named trans-Neptunian object. The orbital period is around 592 years, and the diameter about 470 kilometers, which makes it very likely a dwarf planet. It was discovered in 2010 by astronomers Andrzej Udalski, Scott Sheppard, Marcin Kubiak and Chad Trujillo during the Polish OGLE project of Warsaw University.

Hopefully Dziewanna brings us the spring.

Full Moon in Leo / Total Lunar Eclipse — January 21, 2019, 05:16 UT

The Full Moon in Leo on Jan. 21, 2019, is a spectacle. It is a Total Super Lunar Eclipse.

If the Moon is above the horizon in your location at the time of the eclipse, you are able to see a big red “blood” Moon. During a total lunar eclipse, the face of the Moon turns red. A supermoon appears big. The Earth, Moon and Sun are all in line, and the Moon is at its closest approach to Earth. The name supermoon was originally launched by astrologer Richard Nolle in the 70’s, and nowadays astronomers are also using it.

The astrological meaning of this eclipse is comparable in significance with its visible awesomeness. The Full Moon is always an opposition of the Sun and the Moon. The day before the eclipse the Sun entered Aquarius, where group consciousness is highlighted. The Moon is in Leo, in the sign of individuality. The Moon is in conjunction with Varuna.

20000 Varuna is a large trans-Neptunian object – highly likely a dwarf planet – discovered in 2000. The orbital period is around 282 years. It has an elongated shape due to its rapid rotation. This cubewano was named after one of the oldest of the Vedic deities, who had unlimited knowledge. Varuna was first associated with sky, later with waters as well as with justice and truth. Due to his association with the waters and the ocean he can be identified with Greek Poseidon and Roman Neptune. In astrology Varuna has been described as a vast energy behind everything, almost too large to comprehend.

Uranus in late Aries is squaring the Sun and the Moon. Uranus is associated with rebellion, invention and sudden flashes of insight. Venus and Jupiter, traditionally defined as the benefics, are in conjunction in Sagittarius. They are square to Neptune in Pisces. Venus-Neptune connections are often related to romantic idealism and illusions in love. Add Jupiter into the mix, and we may be talking about religious experiences. In spite of Jupiter’s often beneficial influence, its tendency to exaggerate can lead to an unfavorable outcome. The Moon forms a sesquiquadrate aspect (135 degrees) to the Venus-Jupiter conjunction in Sagittarius and another sesquiquadrate to Neptune in Pisces. The sesquiquadrate is not a weak aspect. It resembles the square and is a challenging aspect.

Now it is a great time to reach for your dreams and visions, as long as you are aware of the pitfalls, too.

New Moon in Capricorn / Partial solar eclipse — January 06, 2019, 01:28 UT

The New Moon at 15+ degrees Capricorn on Jan. 6, 2019, is the first eclipse of the year, a partial solar eclipse in Capricorn. The Sun and the Moon are in conjunction with Saturn, the ruler of Capricorn. Exactly at the eclipse degree is 55576 Amycus, a small centaur discovered in 2002 and given the name in 2005. At the next degree (16+ Capricorn) is Ultima Thule, the most distant world ever visited by a man-made spacecraft. Uranus is stationary direct in late degrees of Aries.

Ultima Thule is a nickname for 2014 MU69, a distant cubewano, which was targeted for the space probe New Horizons’ next destination after it would have completed flyby of Pluto, which happened in 2015. The name means a place beyond the borders of the known world. On Jan. 1, 2019, New Horizons spacecraft made a close pass of Ultima Thule. The photos it sent to Earth revealed, that Ultima Thule is a contact binary, consisting of two separate bodies joined together. The larger one is now called Ultima and the smaller one Thule. This binary is a primitive object, which is going to help scientists learn important things about the origins of our solar system.

55576 Amycus was named after a centaur, which had an important role in the Centauromachy, a famous myth telling about a battle between the Lapith people and the centaurs in Greek mythology. The centaurs were a bunch of troublemakers (except Chiron and Pholus), and Amycus was a member of his tribe.

The aforementioned battle took place during the wedding of the king of the Lapiths, Pirithous, and his bride Hippodameia. Amycus was responsible for the first death of one of the Lapiths. Amycus was killed, the centaurs were defeated, and those who kept their lives were forced to flee from Thessaly.

As human beings we have an ability to choose our actions. What we do, whether good or bad, affects other people. Also we are members of our tribe, namely humankind. It is difficult to be a truly human all by oneself. Society gives human beings their humanity. I think that the astrological meaning of Amycus has a great deal to do with this connectedness and with the choices we make, including their consequences.

This solar eclipse in Capricorn belongs to the Saros series 2 South. In “Predictive astrology: the eagle and the lark”, Bernadette Brady has delineated this eclipse family, based on the initial eclipse in the series, as follows:

“This eclipse is concerned with unusual groups and the individual’s involvement with those groups. This could be the time when the individual notices or suddenly desires to find a particular group whose concerns would be with healing, the arts, or the love of humanity. The individual will feel that, through involvement with such a group, he or she will gain a great deal.”

The Sabian symbol for the eclipse degree is Capricorn 16, Boys and girls in gymnasium suits, and it speaks about society and co-operation, too. According to Marc Edmund Jones, “This is a symbol of practical experience as at root a matter of developing self-competency, and of life as a never-ending adjustment of ideals and motives to the everyday potentials of human society. The individual is called on to co-operate in a continual estimation and re-estimation of his powers and capacities by his fellows, and to bring an aliveness of interest to everything in which he would participate. A disciplined self-responsibility is demanded for a common achievement. The keyword is animation.”

New Moon in Sagittarius — December 07, 2018, 07:20 UT

Mercury stationed direct on Dec. 6, and the next morning the New Moon at 15+ degrees of Sagittarius squared Mars-Neptune conjunction in Pisces.

The New Moon fell on the Sagittarius Sun of Finland, which celebrated its independence and 101st birthday on Dec. 6. Finland’s Sun is at 13+ degrees of Sagittarius, so it was tightly squared by the transiting Mars-Neptune conjunction. The conjunction of Mars and Neptune, two planets with quite a different nature, can manifest in various ways. The action of Mars can be weakened by Neptune, and it can lead to passive-aggressive behavior, among other things. The transit could also mean spiritual activity, drug problems, or infectious diseases, just to mention a few.

Transits don’t always manifest dramatically, however they can actualize in distinct and surprising ways.

I was celebrating the Independence Day in a typical Finnish way by lighting two candles in the evening, having a glass of bubbly, and watching the presidential reception and ball on television. I was not sleepy after the broadcast, so at midnight I was still at the computer, just amusing myself by reading news reports and Independence Day greetings. Mercury turning direct tends to bring hidden information out. For me it gave a nearly 70 year old photo, which the local brewery had just published on their Christmas advent calendar. It was a photo of workers of the old local steam brewery, and to my amazement I was looking at the young face of my dad among the group. I know that he had worked there while in his youth, but I had never seen this photo before, and I hadn’t known that such a photo had ever been taken. My dad had a Sagittarius Moon and his Sun was at 15+ degrees of Scorpio.

In traditional astrology the Moon rules beer, brewers and breweries. Neptune, one of the modern planets, is a co-ruler, and associated with alcohol and gases in general. Fiery Mars aided the brewing at this New Moon.

Full Moon in Gemini — November 23, 2018, 05:39 UT

Jupiter has recently changed signs from Scorpio to Sagittarius, which is Jupiter’s own sign. On Nov. 14, 2018, Jupiter opposed 54598 Bienor, one of the notable centaurs, currently retrograding in the first degree of Gemini. On Nov. 17, Mars in Pisces made a square to Bienor, and the Gemini Full Moon of Nov. 23, 2018, conjoined Bienor. The Sun in Sagittarius is in conjunction with Jupiter. Mercury, the ruler of Gemini, is retrograding.

Centaurs are minor planets that orbit the Sun between Jupiter and Neptune and cross the orbits of one or more of the giant planets. However, different organizations are using different criteria for them, and that is why the exact number of centaurs is difficult to say. The JPL Small-Body Database lists currently around 450 centaurs. Anyway, their number is much lesser than that of thousands of trans-Neptunian objects.

The sizes of centaurs range from a few tens of kilometers to few hundreds of kilometers across. 54598 Bienor is one of the bigger ones (dimensions 207 +/- 30 km). Bienor grazes the orbit of Uranus, and has an orbital period of about 67 years. It will reach perihelion (the point in its orbit where it is nearest to the Sun) in January 2028.

Some centaurs behave like comets, displaying comas. Some seem to have a ring formation around them. 10199 Chariklo, the largest centaur, is known to have a pair of narrow rings. Also 2060 Chiron, the first-identified member of the centaur class (discovered in 1977) possibly has a ring system. There has been speculation about 54598 Bienor having an icy ring around it, too.

54598 Bienor was discovered in 2000 and named after one of the mythical centaurs who tried to kidnap the bride Hippodame and other women at the wedding of the Lapith king Pirithous. Many centaurs died in the battle which followed, but Bienor’s death was unique. Pirithous’ friend Theseus leaped upon the back of Bienor, never trained to carry riders, and smashed his head. According to Robert von Heeren’s site “The Centaur Research Project”, Bienor’s name means “the man of the power / force”.

Eric Francis has proposed that Bienor may be associated with the strength of mankind expressed through technology. It is up to us whether to put our strength to work for us, or against us.

In the Gemini Full Moon chart asteroid 1198 Atlantis is in Sagittarius in conjunction with the Sun and Jupiter, and opposite the Moon and 54598 Bienor. The asteroid was named after the mythological island of Atlantis, which the gods sent to sink into the sea, because the human society had become greedy and morally corrupted. In astrology 1198 Atlantis addresses the use and misuse of technology, and the sense of imminent doom.

About ten years ago 54598 Bienor was at the Aries Point, and Eric Francis wrote:

“The Canadian professor and media philosopher Marshall McLuhan (1911 – 1980) explained that any environment tends to be invisible. A media environment is so pervasive that we don’t see it. He devised many methods of sensing and making sense out of our media environment, one of which was a series of four questions that he called the ’tetrad.’ We can apply them to the digital world, which is a kind of conducting medium for thought, images and ideas:

* What does the medium enhance?
* What does the medium make obsolete?
* What does the medium retrieve that had been obsolesced earlier?
* What does the medium flip into when pushed to extremes?

We could add, what is the mediums effect on our perception of time and our sense of identity?”

By the way, Marshall McLuhan is known for predicting the World Wide Web almost 30 years before it was invented.

The current opposition of 54598 Bienor and 1198 Atlantis in the Full Moon chart suggests that we may have to deal with some of these issues now.

Bienor examples:

May 6, 1949 (Sun conjunct Bienor) – EDSAC (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator), an early British computer ran its first programs. It was the first practical stored-program electronic computer. OXO, a version of “noughts and crosses” for the EDSAC was developed in 1952. It may well have been the world’s first video game.

Nov. 22, 1977 (Sun conjunct Bienor) — TCP/IP test succeeds connecting 3 ARPANET nodes (of 111), in what eventually becomes the Internet protocol.

The following computer programmers and game designers were born with the Sun-Bienor conjunction in their natal chart:

– Tim Bray (born June 21, 1955) is a Canadian software developer and entrepreneur and one of the co-authors of the original XML specification.

– Nigel Findley (July 22, 1959 – Feb. 19, 1995) was an American game designer, editor, and an author of science fiction and fantasy novels and role-playing games (RPGs).

– Jukka Tapanimäki (Aug. 11, 1961 – May 1, 2000) was a Finnish game programmer. Tapanimäki wrote his games for the Commodore 64 computer. Tapanimäki was a reviewer for MikroBitti and “C” computer magazines; and a freelance writer of advanced-level computer programming articles.

– Hideo Kojima (born Aug. 24, 1963) is a Japanese video game designer, screenwriter, director and game producer. In 2005, Kojima founded Kojima Productions, a software house controlled by Konami, and by 2011 he rose as vice president of Konami Digital Entertainment. In 2015, Kojima Productions split from Konami, becoming an independent software company.

– Jack Dorsey (born Nov. 19, 1976) is an American computer programmer and Internet entrepreneur who is co-founder and CEO of Twitter, and founder and CEO of Square, a mobile payments company.

On many occasions, when something that has common interest has been showed live on television to large audiences, the Sun has been in conjunction with Bienor:

– May 11, 1950 — The Kefauver Committee hearings began in the USA. The committee investigated organized crime across the state borders. Hearings were held in 14 major cities and more than 600 witnesses testified. Many of the committee’s hearings were showed live on national television to large audiences. Many Americans had their first glimpse of organized crime’s influence in the U.S. The Kefauver Committee’s work led to expanding civil law to combat organized crime.

– June 2, 1953 – Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom at Westminster Abbey was the first British coronation to be televised and was also the world’s first major international event to be broadcast on television.

– May 19, 2018 – The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is held at St George’s Chapel, England, with an estimated global audience of 1.9 billion. The wedding was also streamed live online on YouTube via the British Monarchy’s official The Royal Channel.

July 6, 1957 (Sun conjunct Bienor) — John Lennon and Paul McCartney meet for the very first time, as teenagers at Woolton Fete, 3 years before forming the Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music.

– John Lennon (Oct. 9, 1940 – Dec. 8, 1980) has a natal Bienor-Typhon conjunction at the Aries Point, opposite his Mars.

– July 12, 1958 (Sun conjunct Bienor) — The Beatles, at this time known as The Quarrymen, pay 17 shillings and 6 pence to have their first recording session.

– The first live, international, satellite television production, broadcast on June 25, 1967, is mostly remembered because of the Beatles. The event was Our World with estimated 350 million viewers and had the largest television audience ever up to that date Ten thousand technicians, producers and interpreters took part in the broadcast. The Beatles topped the event with their debut performance of “All You Need Is Love”. Released a week later, during the Summer of Love, the song was adopted as a flower power anthem. Transiting Bienor in Virgo was in conjunction with Lennon’s natal Neptune and trining his natal Uranus. As an interesting reference, Canada’s CBC Television had Marshall McLuhan being interviewed in a Toronto television control room in the beginning of the show.

– Dec. 8, 1980 (Sun conjunct Bienor) — John Lennon is murdered in New York City.

May 13, 1950 (Sun conjunct Bienor) — the first race in the inaugural FIA Formula One World Championship was held at Silverstone, England.

– Mika Häkkinen (born Sept. 28, 1968), nicknamed “the Flying Finn“, is a Finnish former professional racing driver. He was the 1998 and 1999 Formula One World Champion, driving for McLaren and has been ranked among the greatest Formula One drivers in various motorsport polls. Mika Häkkinen has the Sun-Bienor conjunction in his natal chart.

Bienor is involved in the space exploration:

– May 14, 1950 (Sun conjunct Bienor) — The Huntsville Times runs the headline “Dr. von Braun Says Rocket Flights Possible to Moon”. That might have marked the beginning of those efforts. Wernher von Braun was a German, later American, aerospace engineer, who developed the rockets that launched the U.S.’ first space satellite Explorer I, and the Saturn V rocket, that enabled manned lunar landings.

– July 20, 1969 (Moon conjunct Bienor) – The first lunar landing was seen by more than 700 million people in television (a new record at the time). Apollo 11 was the flight that took the first humans there. The Moon was in early degrees of Libra in a tight conjunction with Bienor (opposing the Aries Point), mirroring two things: the strong men who bravely set out for the Moon; and the strong feelings involved in this event, not just in the USA but worldwide. Jupiter and Uranus were in conjunction in Libra, exactly opposite the Aries Point. The experience was not just historical for the mankind, but also highly personal for the men who walked on the Moon.

– Nov. 3, 1973 (Sun conjunct Bienor) – NASA launches Mariner 10 toward Mercury (on March 29, 1974 it becomes the first space probe to reach that planet).

Other notable examples of the Sun-Bienor conjunction:

Aug. 28, 1963 — Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his I Have A Dream speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to an audience of at least 250,000, during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The speech was a defining moment of the civil rights movement. Afterwards a recording of King’s Cobo Hall speech (from June 1963), in which King had delivered “I have a dream” refrains, was released by Detroit’s Gordy Records as an LP entitled “The Great March To Freedom”.

Nov. 28, 1977 – Jazz saxophonist Archie Shepp records “On Green Dolphin Street”, the first digitally recorded album to be released commercially in the USA.

Dec. 28, 1984 – A Soviet cruise missile plunges into Inarinjärvi Lake in Finnish Lapland. Finnish authorities announced the fact in public in January 1985. The Soviet authorities described it as an old, unarmed Soviet cruise missile being used in target practice.

Jan. 15, 1990 — Martin Luther King Day Crash – Telephone service in Atlanta, St. Louis, and Detroit, including 9-1-1 service, goes down for nine hours, due to an AT&T software bug.

Jan. 26, 1992 — Boris Yeltsin announces that Russia will stop targeting cities of the United States and her allies with nuclear weapons. In return President George H. W. Bush announces that the United States and her allies will stop targeting Russia and the remaining communist states with nuclear weapons.

Feb. 9, 1996 — The element copernicium is created in Germany. Copernicium is a synthetic chemical element with symbol Cn and atomic number 112. It is an extremely radioactive element, and can only be created in a laboratory. It is named after the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.

May 12, 2017 — Computers around the world are hit by a large-scale ransomware cyberattack, which goes on to affect at least 150 countries.