January 27 to February 3, 2011
Visible Planets: Morning: Mercury, Venus and Saturn Evening: Jupiter
The Tropical vs. the Sideral Zodiac
Last week I addressed the media whoopla and collective attention concerning what is generally known as one’s “sun sign” – the astrological identity we are given according to our day and time of birth. Word on the street has it that due to some recent scientific discoveries, we have to “change” our sun sign. If you’re wondering about this, check out my column last week on either my website @ www.alacazem.com or the astrology page @ www.tellurideinside.com. You’ll find a brief explanation of the difference between the astrological Tropical Zodiac used in the Western world and the fixed star Sidereal Zodiac, used in Vedic astrology, which is practiced in India and much of the Far East. But, this week I’d like to address something I’ve also been asked about a lot lately – a mysterious 13th “sign” – a “new” constellation that “really screws everything up” and “changes the zodiac” even more, causing one’s astrological sign to be even further off kilter and, according to the good ol’ word-on-the-street, even more irrelevant.
First of all, the Tropical Zodiac will always consist of twelve 30º signs, because it’s calculated by a simple mathematical equation. When we take the 360º Great Circle of the Celestial Sphere surrounding Earth and divide it by 30º we come up with 12. And because the Tropical Zodiac begins each year at the zero point of Aries – on Spring Equinox – and that point changes slightly from year to year in relation to the fixed stars of the Sidereal Zodiac – due to the Earth’s wobble and a certain celestial phenomenon known as the Precession of the Equinoxes (see last week’s column) – and ends the following year on Spring Equinox, when the Earth once again reaches the zero point of Aries on the Great Circle, the 12 signs of the Tropical Zodiac are measured in 30º segments from the Aries zero point, independent and separate from the fixed-star constellations of the Sidereal Zodiac. Therefore, the only mathematical relationship between the two zodiacs consists of the ever-changing distance between the fixed stars and the precessing equinoxes, which is now approximately thirty degrees. The identification of “new” or “old” fixed star constellations, which are arbitrary groupings of stars delineated by and passed down through the ages via human story and culture – like Ophiuchus – have no relevant effect on and do not change the Tropical Zodiac or the twelve signs of the traditional, geocentric astrology practiced in the Western world.
I will say, however, that this astrologer is forever and always fascinated by the magical, intoxicating beauty of the fixed stars and the intriguing star lore surrounding the constellations. I love to lay in my bed under the thatch of our Mexican palapa and gaze out into the vast, blue-black darkness of deep space. The stars, twinkling like diamonds, paint the night sky with ancient, returning pictographs of dragons, queens and serpents. Spiders and lions watch the planets dazzle their way across the night sky. The familiar shape of Orion the Hunter, with his faithful “dog star” Sirius following close behind, comforts and consoles me, reminding that we are humans looking for our reflections in the cosmos. The stories, the shimmering and the shining, the living and dying. Our creation myths, our zodiacs and our constellations. Looking for validation, meaning and direction from where we came from, from what we are, from where we’re going. After all, we are the stars…
God bless and may the peace and grace of the stars embrace and guide you on your Earth walk. And, don’t forget to enjoy your sun sign along the way!
Aries (Mar. 20-Apr.19)
Jovial Jupiter and wild Uranus have been dancing on the cusp of Pisces/Aries since the spring of 2010, flirting with but somehow directing you from danger. You have seen and experienced the positive effects of goodness and the benefits of self-awakening. Now, you can expect even more. Open your heart, have faith and follow the golden light of goodness.
Taurus (Apr. 20-May 20)
Motivation to achieve continues as Mars in Aquarius inspires ideals and excites vision. Your naturally practical nature remains somewhat skeptical, however, and continues bringing it all back down to earth. Seek a balance between the two, nurture creative momentum as you proceed at a realistic pace. Keep an eye out for unusual investments, you never know!
Gemini (May 21-June 21)
As voluptuous Venus wraps her visit in your solar 7th house of marriage, partnership and commitment, put some polish on your relationships. Demonstrate affection, express love and be willing to share your face and space with others. Refrain from criticism and focus on what you like, rather that what you don’t. Kiss loved ones and hug friends.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
The practical discourse and realistic discussions of the last few weeks have opened you up to the opinions and perspectives of others. While you may not always like hearing cold, hard facts and often brand it as negative or pessimistic, today you understand that it’s more about education. Join emotional detachment with compassion and acceptance.
Leo (July 23-Aug.22)
Giant planet Jupiter has moved into fellow fire-sign Aries for a six-month stay, hallelujah! This translates as a period of increased enthusiasm, inspiration and exploration. Say goodbye to winter blues and get out the travel books. Dream those dreams and think big. There’s nothing wrong with creative fantasy and sweet imagination. Enjoy the ride and have fun.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep.22)
Jupiter’s final jump into Aries opens you up to a prolonged period of psychological healing regarding your most intimate relationships and deepest secrets. This is a bona fide opportunity to shine light on doubts and demons, and bring darkness to light. You are being guided and supported by loving, angelic spirits. Trust your heart and keep the faith.
Libra (Sep. 23-Oct.22)
The Aquarius zodiac month is one of increasing hope, love and light. Your heart swells with solar rays and lengthening days. The advent of another seasonal cross-quarter day turns the corner on winter and spirits soar. Awaken to a year of good luck, good will
and good fortune in your relationships. Be kind to everyone you meet now. Angels are among them.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
We often wonder why and how we got to where we are. And no matter where we go, there we are. It’s all a mysterious puzzle, one that must be accepted to be understood. The biggest magic is in being kind and gentle with yourself first, then shining the love outward, to others. Count your blessings and see your beauty, this month is full of hope and light. Shine on.
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 20)
Ruler Jupiter has made its final move into fiery Aries, igniting love and exciting desire. The next six months are full to the brim with sparkling romantic, creative and artistic opportunities. The challenge is in cultivating the self-discipline of focused attention and follow through. Banish procrastination and practice the act of completion. Finish!
Capricorn (Dec. 21-Jan. 19)
As your home and family expands, practice letting go of your compulsion to control. Whether it’s the menu or the momentum, relax in the moment and go with the flow. You are learning how to morph and shape-shift, transform and dissolve into authentic power – the power of the universe, the power of spirit. This is not an easy task and takes time. Don’t fight it.
Aquarius (Jan. 19-Feb. 18)
Happy birthdays continue as cakes are cut and candles flicker. It’s time to celebrate another revolution around the sun – you’re special and you know it! This year make sure you relax enough to enjoy the magnificent gift of life. Magic and mysterious, you’re here! Refrain from too much busy-ness and do whatever you like. Take a day for you and enjoy it!
Pisces (Feb. 18-Mar. 20)
Sugar and spice and everything nice, Pisces is a sign of loving-kindness and compassion, the last sign of the zodiac wheel, evolved and at one with the Universe. Well, how about that? From evolutionary spirit to transcendental soul, embrace the cosmos and sparkle with the stars. You are beginning another amazing cycle of rebirth. Take good care of you!
Cynthia is a third generation astrologer living in the high mountain desert of the American Southwest. Visit her website @ www.alacazem.com.