7 March 2017 – Astro-Weather: English astronomer Sir John Frederick William Herschel was born on this date in 1792. In 1864, he published the General Catalogue of Nebulae & Clusters, which astronomers still use today
After sunset, look below the Moon for Procyon & above the Moon for fainter Pollux & Castor.
As seen from Earth, both Mercury & Venus have phases like our moon. That’s because they circle the sun inside Earth’s orbit. Planets that orbit between Earth & the sun are known as inner planets.
Inner planets can never be at “opposition,” which is when the planet & the sun are on opposite sides of Earth.
But they can be at “conjunction,” which is when a planet, the sun & Earth are all in a straight line. Conjunctions can happen in 2 ways: once when the planet is on the opposite side of the sun from Earth & again when it’s on the same side of the sun as Earth.
When a planet is on the opposite side of the sun from Earth, we say it is at “superior conjunction.” As the planet moves out from behind the sun & gets closer to Earth, we see less & less of the lit side. We see phases, similar to our moon’s phases.
Mercury is at superior conjunction today March 7. A few weeks later, the messenger of the gods emerges from behind the sun & we can once again observe it. By the end of March we’ll see a last-quarter Mercury. On April 20 Mercury reaches “inferior conjunction.”
Brilliant Venus is also racing toward its own inferior conjunction on March 25. Watch its crescent get thinner & thinner as the planet’s size appears larger & larger, because it is getting closer to Earth.
Finally, look for Jupiter to rise in the East. It will be visible all month long from late evening until dawn.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1274 – Deathday of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Italian priest & philosopher – In Rudolf Steiner’s historic sketch of the life of thought in the Middle Ages, he shows in 3 short lectures how Albertus Magnus ( an earlier incarnation of Ita Wegman) & Thomas Aquinas ( an earlier incarnation of Aristotle & Rudolf Steiner himself) & the Scholastics of the 12th century gave an impetus towards what in the twentieth century has come to be known as Spiritual Science, or Anthroposophy.
A system of thinking & a method of investigation, in order to be effective, must go forward with the requirements of the century, otherwise philosophy & religion lag behind & miss their object. The theories of Thomas Aquinas, which were intended to be progressive, have become the property of a mighty dogma & the method, instead of being an instrument for progress, becomes an impediment in the machine.
Rome, while glorifying Thomas Aquinas as a Church Father, has relegated his stupendous thought to a closed compartment only to be opened by those specially authorized. Rudolf Steiner puts him in the forefront of evolution, &, by Spiritual Science, endeavors to liberate him from the fetters of dogma.
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~Where there is a road
A wise hag walks thinking,
Bent under the weight of her soul
Clinging like a child to her back,
She spits words into the wind where they cover themselves
& wait like seeds…
The wheat will rise up singing…
~ Hazel Archer Ginsberg
Venus retrograde 2017 lasts from March 4 to April 15 & spans 13º Aries back to 26º Pisces:
‘I said cautiously, “Venus is the power that we invoke in spring, in the garden, when things begin growing. And we call the evening star Venus.”
He thought it over. Perhaps having grown up in the country, among pagans like me, helped him understand my bewilderment. “So do we, he said. “But Venus also became more…With the help of the Greeks. They call her Aphrodite…There was a great poet who praised her in Latin. Delight of men and gods, he called her, dear nurturer. Under the sliding star signs she fills the ship-laden sea and the fruitful earth with her being; through her the generations are conceived and rise up to see the sun; from her the storm clouds flee; to her the earth, the skilful maker, offers flowers. The wide levels of the sea smile at her, and all the quiet sky shines and streams with light…”
It was the Venus I had prayed to, it was my prayer, though I had no such words. They filled my eyes with tears and my heart with inexpressible joy.” ~Ursula K. Le Guin, ‘Lavinia’