19 August 2016 – Astro-Weather: You’ll want to keep your eyes on the western evening sky all week. A trio of bright planets — Mercury, Venus, & Jupiter — lurk low in the twilight, forming an elegant triangle that changes shape with each passing day. Use brilliant Venus as your guide to the other two, above the horizon 30 minutes after sunset.
Jupiter, to Venus’ upper left, while Mercury below Jupiter. You’ll need a clear, unobstructed horizon to see the three worlds.
Distant Neptune reaches opposition & peak visibility two weeks from today, but the view now is essentially the same. The ice giant planet rises around 8:30 PM CDT & climbs nearly halfway to the zenith in the southern sky by 2 am. The planet lies in Aquarius, southwest of Lambda Aquarii.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
“Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.” ~H.G. Wells
The Feast of the Transfiguration in the Gregorian Calendar
World Humanitarian Day
295 BC – The first temple to Venus, the Roman goddess of love, beauty & fertility, is dedicated by Quintus Fabius Maximus Gurges during the Third Samnite War
43 BC –Caesar Augustus, compels the Roman Senate to elect him Consul
14 AD – Deathday of Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus
1612 – The “Samlesbury witches“, three women from the Lancashire village of Samlesbury, England, are put on trial, accused of practicing witchcraft, one of the most famous witch trials in British history
1662 – Deathday of Blaise Pascal a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer &Christian philosopher. He was a child prodigy, while still a teenager he started some pioneering work on calculating machines.
Following a religious experience in late 1654, he began writing influential works on philosophy & theology. His two most famous works set in the conflict between Jansenists & Jesuits.
Rudolf Steiner wrote about him in GA 131, From Jesus to Christ: Lecture I: Jesuit and Rosicrucian Training
1692 – Salem witch trials: In Salem, Province of Massachusetts Bay, five women, & a clergyman, are executed after being convicted of witchcraft
Daguerreotype of Louis Daguerre in 1844 by Jean-Baptiste Sabatier
1839 – The French government announces that Louis Daguerre’s photographic process is a gift “free to the world”. Viewing a daguerreotype is unlike looking at any other type of photograph. The image does not sit on the surface of the metal, but appears to be floating in space, & the illusion of reality.
1854 – The First Sioux War begins when United States Army soldiers kill Lakota chief Conquering Bear & in return are massacred
1868 – Jules Janssen discovered Helium during a solar eclipse
1919 – Afghanistan gains full independence from the United Kingdom
1934 – The German referendum of 1934 approves Hitler’s appointment as head of state with the title of Führer.
1936 – Deathday of Federico García Lorca, Spanish poet, playwright, & director He was executed by Nationalist forces at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War
1944 – World War II: Liberation of Paris: against German occupation with the help of Allied troops
1945 – August Revolution: Viet Minh led by Ho Chi Minh take power in Hanoi, Vietnam.
1953 – Cold War: The CIA & MI6 help to overthrow the government of Mohammad Mosaddegh in Iran & reinstate the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
1955 – In the Northeast United States, severe flooding caused by Hurricane Diane, claims 200 lives
1960 – Cold War: In Moscow downed American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers is sentenced to ten years imprisonment by the Soviet Union for espionage
1960 – Sputnik program: Korabl-Sputnik 2: The Soviet Union launches the satellite with the dogs Belka & Strelka, 40 mice, two rats & a variety of plants.
1964 – Syncom 3, the first geostationary communication satellite, was launched
1989 – Several hundred East Germans cross the frontier between Hungary and Austria during the Pan-European Picnic, part of the events that began the process of the Fall of the Berlin Wall
1991 – Dissolution of the Soviet Union, August Coup: Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev is placed under house arrest while on holiday in the town of Foros, Ukraine
2003 – A car-bomb attack on United Nations headquarters in Iraq kills the agency’s top envoy Sérgio Vieira de Mello & 21 other employees.
2010 – Operation Iraqi Freedom ends, with the last of the United States brigade combat teams crossing the border to Kuwait
My POD (Poem Of the Day)
~I am an oar made ready…
Like water – adaptable
I follow my-Self
The modern English word “weird” is derived from the Old English term *wyrd,* meaning “destiny.” By the late Middle Ages, *wyrd* had evolved into a concept similar to the Eastern notion of karma. It implied that the momentum of past events plays a strong role in shaping the future, but that human willpower can nevertheless also have a hand in creating upcoming events. In some uses, *wyrd* could even mean “the power to control destiny,” as exemplified by the 3 Weird Sisters of Shakespeare’s *MacBeth* or The Fates (Nornir) from the Northern Mysteries.
Wyrd is ordered by The 3 Fates. The eldest is Urd, who governs the laying of the threads of wyrd in the well of memory. The middle is Verdandi, whose name means becoming; & the youngest is Skuld, whose name means obligation. She is occasionally said to be one of the Valkyries as well, because it is Her hand that cuts a person’s thread & determines the extent of their “obligation”.
I bring this up, because my Wyrd Factor is pretty high these days. While the consequences of the past are certainly impacting my present, I’ve rarely had a greater ability to co-create with these forces through the strength of my intentions.
On a not unrelated note, here’s Caroline Myss’ explanation of faith: “Faith is the power to stand up to the madness and chaos of the physical world while holding the position that nothing external has any authority over what heaven has in mind for you.”
If you don’t like the word “heaven” in Myss’ statement, substitute a term that works for you, like “higher self” or ”destiny” or “my soul’s code.”
We are always called on to modify what’s not quite right for our needs. Let’s keep tinkering with fate…
Blessings & Peace ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg