18 December 2016 – Astro-Weather:
First-quarter Moon is exact at 9:14 am CST. Be on the lookout tonight as the Moon shines more or less under the eastern (left) side of the Great Square of Pegasus. Watch la Bella Luna moving along with the flying horse as the hours go by
The variable star Algol in Perseus reaches minimum brightness at 9:48 pm CST. If you start watching it during the mid-evening hours, you can see it grow more than triple in brightness over the course of about five hours. This eclipsing binary star runs through a cycle from minimum to maximum & back every 2.87 days. Algol appears nearly overhead in mid-evening & dips lower in the northwest after midnight
The 4th Sunday of Advent
“…The fourth light of Advent is the light of humankind.
The light of love, the light of thought, to give and to be kind.”
International Migrants Day
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
“History is the essence of innumerable biographies.” ~Thomas Carlyle, “On History” (1830)
1271 – Kublai Khan renames his empire “Yuan” officially marking the start of the Yuan dynasty of Mongolia & China
1803 – Deathday of Johann Gottfried Herder, German philosopher, theologian, & poet – associated with the periods of Enlightenment, Sturm und Drang, & Weimar Classicism. He was a major influence on Goethe.
1829 – Deathday of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, biologist, & academic – an early proponent of the idea that evolution occurred & proceeded in accordance with natural laws. He gave the term biology a broader meaning by coining the term for special sciences, chemistry, meteorology, geology, & botany-zoology
1863 – Birthday of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
1865 – US Secretary of State William Seward proclaims the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment, prohibiting slavery throughout the USA
1878 – Birthday of Joseph Stalin, 4th Premier of the Soviet Union
1879 – Birthday of Paul Klee, Swiss-German painter & educator
1958 – Project SCORE, the world’s first communications satellite, is launched
1966 – Saturn’s moon Epimetheus is discovered by astronomer Richard Walker
1972 – Vietnam War: President Richard Nixon announces that the United States will engage North Vietnam in Operation Linebacker II, a series of Christmas bombings, after peace talks collapsed with North Vietnam on the 13th
1973 – Soviet Soyuz Programme: Soyuz 13, crewed by cosmonauts Valentin Lebedev & Pyotr Klimuk, is launched from Baikonur in the Soviet Union
1990 – International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers & Members of Their Families is adopted.
1999 – NASA launches into orbit the Terra platform carrying five Earth Observation instruments
2006 – United Arab Emirates holds its first-ever elections
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~I’ve known that tempting feast of death when
While darkness filled the mind, the heart cried out –
Let us listen & hear…
I know when the eye of truth is plucked
From the head, only the blood
Of rage remains –
Can we make the change
To heal the Comforter?
Come & call forth with me
A bright secret veiled in black cloth –
A heart-light beyond heaven
Which is the light within
Re-kindled through sacrifice…
Hung with the white veils of winter, the Sun daily wanes. Soon the scorpion will hand the reigns over to the Centaur of Sagittarius – a catalyst for the transformation into the longest night of the Winter Solstice. In this time of the dark before the dawn, the image of the centaur stands before us like the forces of gravity seeking to pull the human being down. It speaks to the danger inherent in this final chapter of Advent, reflecting Herod’s fearful animal instinct to preserve himself by the killing the innocents. This evil act precedes the birth of the light.
Yet ancient myths tell of the hidden wisdom of the centaur. They speak of the struggle of the hero to overcome the bondage of the animalistic drive. It is the eternal drama that plays out in the depths of the human soul.
Inspired by this struggle Goethe has his character Faust carried thru the night on the back of Chiron the centaur, past the turbulent waters of the Peneios, to seek out the secluded sanctuary of wise Manto, who is to show Faust the way to Helena, the lost archetypal image of the divine feminine. Faust praises Chiron as a doctor & tutor.
The riddle of this strange contradiction of the centaur – the wildness & wisdom living so close together, is rooted in the tragedy of human incarnation. On the way to becoming human we had to be bound to the forces of our animal nature which have attached us for so long to the lower materiality, until we can find our way to liberation. The truth hidden behind the consumerism of Christmas, the mystery of the incarnation of Christ holds the key to this healing of the human being. The sting of death must strive to become the tip of the archers arrow that points toward the evolved human being.
“O, thou slumber’s turning,
O, thou sorrow’s ending!” ~Christian Morgenstern
Peace ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg