O C T O B E R 2 0 0 2 S K Y W A T C H
by Maya del Mar
Our sky, which is often foggy, was clear this morning. About 5 a.m. I went out on my back porch to say hello to the fresh rushing energy of the morning, and high above me in the east was the beautiful waning crescent moon beside Saturn, who looked especially bright bathed in the moons glory. (Saturn is brighter than bright star Capella, who is near it.)
Well be able to see Moon again with Saturn on the morning of October 26, although the moon then will be larger because the calendar month is slightly longer than the moons cycle. (There are not 13 moon cycles in a year as we often read. Its more like 12 and one-third. The calendar which we use is in fact a sun-moon calendar. Nothing in nature is exact, and all attempts to impose order on it are by necessity compromises, Jose Arguelles notwithstanding.)
Three nights later, in the early morning of October 29, we can see last quarter moon close to sparkling Jupiter. We can mark the speed of Moons three-day passage in the sky by observing the distance between Saturn and Jupiter.
Early morning remains our best planet-viewing time, although as our sky panorama moves westward with the year, Saturn rises earlier, now in the late evening, and Jupiter rises a couple of hours later. With even a small telescope, you might see the rings of Saturn. This month they are open their widest since they began opening to view in 1995.
However, the Southern Hemisphere does show an evening treat. There Venus should be absolutely glorious around sunset.
October 5 and 6 are very big days, astrologically and astronomically. The biggest tides of the year occur then. This is because the new moon, when sun and moon line up with earth, occurs at the same time as the moon reaching perigee, which is when it is closest to earth. Emotions will be high that weekend, at the same time as Mercury is emphasized by turning direct.
Saturn is a brake on activity, and Saturn so strong now (see it in the sky and ponder on its influence!) will probably combine with Moon (the people) and Mercury (the messenger) to make for very strong protests against the "war" on Iraq. (As I write, U.S. bombing of Iraq, in progress for 8 years, has been greatly stepped up.)
Furthermore, Pluto and Uranus are in parallel declination during October, an echo of the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of the revolutionary 60s, when the protest mounted which eventually led to the end of the Vietnam War.
(This parallel will be exact around mid-December, after a solar eclipse on the U.S. Ascendant. Eclipses do eclipse. Mercury will be at a very high declination then, which shows extreme thinking.)
A powerful new moon in Libra is the perfect time to push for peace, and to begin a peace movement which can be effective. With Saturns strong presence, protest now will be subdued, serious, and long lastingexcellent for the beginning of a movement which will build.