22 September 2016 – Astro-Weather: Autumn begins in the Northern Hemisphere, & Spring in the Southern Hemisphere, at the Equinox – 9:21am CDT. This is when the Sun crosses the equator heading south for the season
Our Day-star rises due east & sets due west today. Equinox” comes from the Latin words “equi” meaning “equal” & “nox” meaning “night.” This implies that there will be equal amounts of daylight & darkness, however that is not exactly the case
If the Sun were a point of light & Earth had no atmosphere, everyone would get 12 hours of sunlight & 12 hours of darkness. But the presence of air & the finite size of our star make today 8 minutes longer than 12 hours. This year, the sun will rise at 6:38am CDT on the equinox & will set at 6:47pm
Exactly equal day & night won’t happen until September 25 with sunrise as 6:42 am CDT & sunset at 6:42 pm CDT. This day is known as the Equilux! -“Lux” being Latin for light.
Also, every year when summer turns to fall, Deneb takes over from brighter Vega as the zenith star around the time when twilight fades into night
“What is to be the starting force & impulse for events in social & ethical life must come out of the spiritual world.” Rudolf Steiner, New Spiritual Impulses in History” Dornach 16 December, 1917
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1452 – Birthday of Savonarola, an Italian Dominican friar, prophet & preacher active in Renaissance Florence. He was known for his prophecies of civic glory, the destruction of secular art & culture, & his calls for Christian renewal. He denounced clerical corruption, despotic rule & the exploitation of the poor.
While Savonarola intervened with the French king, the Florentines expelled the ruling Medici &, at the friar’s urging, established a “popular” republic, declaring that Florence would be the New Jerusalem, the world center of Christianity.
When Florence refused to join Pope Alexander VI’s Holy League against the French, the Vatican summoned Savonarola to Rome. He disobeyed & further defied the pope by preaching under a ban, highlighting his campaign for reform with processions, bonfires of the vanities, & pious theatricals. In retaliation, the Pope excommunicated him & threatened to place Florence under an interdict. A trial by fire proposed by a rival Florentine preacher to test Savonarola’s divine mandate turned into a fiasco, & popular opinion turned against him. Savonarola & two of his supporting friars were imprisoned. Under torture, Savonarola confessed & the Church condemned, hanged, & burned the three friars in the main square of Florence.
Savonarola’s devotees, the Piagnoni, kept his cause of republican freedom & religious reform alive well into the following century, although the Medici—restored to power in 1512 with the help of the papacy—eventually broke the movement.
1791 – Birthday of Michael Faraday, English physicist & chemist. Although Faraday received little formal education, he was one of the most influential scientists in history. It was by his research on the magnetic field around a conductor carrying a direct current that Faraday established the basis for the concept of the electromagnetic field in physics. Faraday also established that magnetism could affect rays of light & that there was an underlying relationship between the two phenomena. His inventions of electromagnetic rotary devices formed the foundation of electric motor technology, & it was largely due to his efforts that electricity became practical for use in technology.
As a chemist, Faraday discovered benzene, investigated the clathrate hydrate of chlorine, invented an early form of the Bunsen burner & the system of oxidation numbers, & popularized terminology such as “anode”, “cathode”, “electrode” & “ion”.
Faraday was an excellent experimentalist who conveyed his ideas in clear & simple language. Albert Einstein kept a picture of Faraday on his study wall, alongside pictures of Isaac Newton & James Clerk Maxwell. Physicist Ernest Rutherford stated, “When we consider the magnitude and extent of his discoveries and their influence on the progress of science and of industry, there is no honour too great to pay to the memory of Faraday, one of the greatest scientific discoverers of all time.”
1991 – The Dead Sea Scrolls are made available to the public for the first time by the Huntington Library
My POD (Poem Of the Day)
Mabon (an ancient Celtic name for the Autumnal Equinox)
A salmon swallows the nut of wisdom
And leaps from the river’s dark depths –
A bright flash of silver in the bent rays of light
A hawk wheels in the eye of the Sun,
His elongated shadow moves
Over an ancient green mound
A fox gleams gold and russet there at the fringe of the forest
Her eyes glinting secrets
From the coming twilight realm
A Maiden sits silent
Clasping two crossed swords
In elegant equipoise
On his knee the King muses by a deep pool…
Soul tied to the wheel
Crystalized in the last shock of corn
Pierced by the oblique sun lit spear
With eyes that see
Down into the root
Where autumn grain waits
The death of bedazzled day
And the dawn of focused night
Meet in symmetry
Thru the cycle
We enter the return
Sail West Beloved Sun King
We follow You
Into the Dawning Dark
At the Autumnal Equinox – the wheel of the year turns & we find ourselves moving into the time of the harvest. In the tropical zodiac, at equinox, we say the Sun is crossing the celestial equator, moving from Virgo into Libra, the sign of the scales – a time to take stock. Are the scales balanced? Do they tip & spill? Are they full? Do we know what to harvest & what to plow under? Can we identify & cut away outworn habits & emotional baggage that can choke our growth?
But in sidereal astrosophy we see the Sun in relation to the actual constellations as they are now, with the Sun actually appearing in the crown of stars in the constellation of the Virgin.
When we use the tropical zodiac, the 4-foldness of the Equinoxes & Solstices form The Cross, which reminds us of an event that occurred only once in history, at the time of the incarnation of Christ. Then, the start of Spring was at 0 degrees of Aries, the Ram – the 1st sign in the zodiac.
At the Equinoxes we have the horizontal beam, a balance of light & darkness. At the Solstices we have the vertical beam, an opposition of light & dark. At Autumn Equinox the Sun is balanced in Libra, which then marks the transition from light to dark. Libra is a threshold, a gateway between the upper chakras & the lower chakras. In the upper signs, from Aries thru Virgo we have a memory of the cosmic human being before we were formed on Earth. From Libra to Pisces, the human form meets the physical world. So we can look at the upper half of the zodiac as being related to our past cosmic creation by the ‘gods’ & the lower half of the zodiac as our human journey of ‘The fall’ & then hopefully our redemption out of our own ego forces.
The Sidereal zodiac shows us the vernal point has moved thru the ‘procession of the equinoxes’, (The Sun moves backward thru the constellations) so that it is now descending thru the lower half of the zodiac, taking humanity along on its evolutionary journey.
Adorning this great cross, formed from the 4 Cardinal Points of the Equinoxes & Solstices, are the 7 Festivals: Michaelmas, Advent, Christmas, Easter-tide Ascension, Whitsun & St. John’s-tide. These festivals are the 7 Cosmic Roses unfurling from the center of The Cross.
So today on this Autumnal Equinox, we can contemplate & celebrate this solar moment of equality & balance, experienced by everyone around the globe. We can also think about how the world has changed, how the constellations have moved on, how The Christ has united with the Earth, & is now working in us to redeem our evolution.
We can take our initiation in hand when we consciously co-create the festivals in the solar-cycle of the year, working to unfold the 7 Roses of transformation within, & out in the world.
And so it is my friends, that we begin our journey, like Persephone, into the dark of the year…Feel your power go within, like the seed planted deep within the darkness of the Earth…We must be initiated into these dark mysteries before we can truly celebrate life’s renewal…
The apples fall from the tree, the corn & grain are gathered in, the grapes are crushed for wine…The Sun God is sacrificed to the night & the fertile Mother assumes the face of the Wise Crone – the Harvest Hag challenging us to face our shadow…