2 September 2016 – Astro-weather: Neptune reaches opposition & peak visibility today. Because it lies opposite the Sun in our sky, it rises at sunset & appears highest in the south around 1 am CDT. But you can start searching for it by 10 pm when it lies nearly one-third of the way from the southeastern horizon to the zenith. Neptune glows bright enough to spot through binoculars if you know where to look. The trick is to find the star Lambda Aquarii, which lies southeast of Aquarius’ distinctive Water Jar asterism. At opposition, Neptune appears southwest of this star
“Nescire autem quid antequam natus sis acciderit, id est semper esse puerum. To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
31 B.C. – The Roman leader Octavian defeated the alliance of Mark Antony & Cleopatra. Octavian, as Augustus Caesar, became the first Roman emperor
44 BC – Marcus Tullius Cicero launches the first of his Philippics (oratorical attacks) on Mark Antony. He will make 14 of them over the following months
44 BC – Pharaoh Cleopatra VII of Egypt declares her son co-ruler
459 – Deathday of Saint Simeon a Syriac ascetic saint who achieved fame for living 37 years on a small platform on top of a pillar near Aleppo in Syria
1192 – The Treaty of Jaffa is signed between Richard I of England & Saladin, leading to the end of the Third Crusade
1666 – The Great Fire of London breaks out & burns for three days, destroying 10,000 buildings including St Paul’s Cathedral
1752 – Great Britain adopts the Gregorian calendar, nearly two centuries later than most of Western Europe
1789 – The United States Department of the Treasury is founded
1792 – During what became known as the September Massacres of the French Revolution, rampaging mobs slaughter three Roman Catholic Church bishops, more than two hundred priests, & prisoners believed to be royalist sympathizers
1806 – A massive landslide destroys the town of Goldau, Switzerland, killing 457
1885 – Rock Springs massacre: In Wyoming, 150 white miners, who are struggling to unionize so they could strike for better wages and work conditions, attack their Chinese fellow workers killing 28, wounding 15 & forcing several hundred more out of town
1901 – Vice President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt utters the famous phrase, “Speak softly and carry a big stick” at the Minnesota State Fair
1935 –Labor Day hurricane hits the Florida Keys, killing 423.
1939 – World War II: Following the start of the invasion of Poland the previous day, the Free City of Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland) is annexed by Nazi Germany
1945 – The day on which Japan surrendered in World War II, in effect ending the war six years & one day after it began. Know today as V-J Day
1945 – Ho Chi Minh declared the independence of Vietnam
1973 – Deathday of J. R. R. Tolkien
1992 – An earthquake in Nicaragua kills at least 116 people.
1992 – The U.S. & Russia agreed to a joint venture to build a space station.
1996 – Muslim rebels & the Philippine government signed a pact formally ending 26-years of insurgency that had killed more than 120,000 people
1998 – Swissair Flight 111 crashes near Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia. All 229 people on board are killed
1998 – The UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda finds Jean-Paul Akayesu, the former mayor of a small town in Rwanda, guilty of nine counts of genocide
My POD (Poem Of the Day)
Bent on being bent
Hot like honey
In the sun…
The circle never stops
Even as we bite our own tails
Take a moment, sit comfortably & calm your mind…Take a deep breath, deep into your belly, hold it for a moment, & let it slowly go…
Imagine that you are standing on a high, wide hill. It is midnight, & the crescent moon cuts a slice of light onto the landscape. You turn to the North, & across the valley, you can see majestic mountains, their sharp peaks reaching toward the sky. You notice the richness of the colors in the rock, & the pure whiteness of the snowy crests. A light breeze wafts up from the valley, bringing with it the earthy odors of the lush vegetation below.
You spread your feet wide, & you can feel the indomitable strength of the stone. Time slows down, & you feel that you yourself are made of the same stone, with your “I” in the realm of the Seraphim. You have seen eons of time go by; you have seen the Earth’s creatures evolve in the slow steady dance of life & death. You are One with the living Earth, part of her body ever changing, ever treasure full…
Spend a few breaths in rhythm with her cycles…then allow the image to fade…
Again you are standing on the hill. You turn to the East, & you notice that the dawn is beginning to break. An insistent breeze raises your hair, as you inhale the heady perfume of newly opened flowers in the air…
A tall pine grows up out of the valley, & on its topmost branch sits an eagle. It gives a loud cry, & as the sun breaks over the horizon, the eagle spreads its wings, & with powerful strokes, lifts itself into the rising currents of air. As it soars nearer, you too, can feel the rising thermals pressing upwards on your being, lifting & supporting the thoughts of your highest mind. You gaze around, & you find that you can distinguish the smallest detail with perfect clarity. You are One with the Air. Take a few healing breaths in the quicksilver lightness of new beginnings…your mind free & uncluttered… sharp & attuned…slowly this image begins to morph & fade.
Again you find yourself a top the hill. You turn to the South, you realize it is high noon, & the blazing Sun beats down like a drum. You look out over the valley, undulating with heat, & from a cave on the other side, you see an ancient winged-dragon emerge. It looks up to where you stand, & your eyes meet. Michael holds him lightly with a golden chain.
Before Michael lets him go, he beckons the dragon to kneel, head bowed, the dragon flies across the blazing valley toward you, & yet you feel perfectly safe meeting this great being face to face. Its eyes are like red coals, & its breath is hot fire on your face, like the scorching sun, smelling of the molten flames burning deep within your solar plexus. Its scales appear metallic, as though they were made of beaten gold. It lowers its head, & as you place your hand on its brow, you feel a surge of energy, as though the plasma of the sun itself was flowing through your veins. You are One with the Sun energy reclaimed from the belly of the dragon. Take a few golden breaths feeling its activating passion, protecting & enlivening every cell of your being. Release the dragon in peace, to go back to his master Michael, & allow the image to fade.
Yet again you find yourself standing on the hilltop. You turn to the West, & you realize that the Sun is setting. At the base of the hill a vast sea spreads to the horizon. Its deep blue surface is calm, & you feel a deep sense of perfect peace & serenity. The waters of the sea gently lap the shore directly below you, revealing its secret mysteries at your feet. You walk down the shore of this primordial sea, wading into the cool water. At the oceans edge, you see that a fresh water spring flows out from the side of the hill, cascading over rocks, to form a small waterfall.
You reach down, & scoop up some of this clear sparkling water, bringing it to your mouth to drink. The water tastes incredibly fresh & clean, & you know that it is.
You dive into the seawater at the base of the waterfall, & feel its smoothness over your body. You laugh, & float like a fish in the sea, soon realizing that you are surrounded by dolphins. You can feel their joy in life, you allow yourself to join in their playfulness. You feel the flowing force of your loving ancestors acting as midwifes as you are reborn in the purifying saltwater. You lie back, to allow the water to support you, yet you need no support, for you are One with the Water….
Spend a few breaths in the deep truth of this peace & calm, as you slowly allow the image to fade…
Once again you are on the hill. It is night. You look up, & see the great black arch of the sky thick with stars. As you gaze at them, you feel a pulsation of energy coming from them, & from the Earth beneath your feet. The energy feels like a dance, with you in the center of the leminscate, as you sway to its rhythm, the music of the spheres enters you, & you are One with the Universe. Breathe with the Life-Force pulsing within you…
In gratitude ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg