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Winter’s Arrival 02/12/2016

Posted by zoidion in Weather, forecast.
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Twin Cities ephemera: The calendar says December is here: the first month of meteorological winter, and the second snowiest on average.  And despite the monotony of gray day after gray day, I know a change is a-coming: a change into real winter. 

The first two snows were swept away last week in one day that began strangely warm and thundery, shifted to hail, then sleet, then rain: well over an inch of precipitation. It was enough to set annual precipitation records at a number of locations.

So I figured I’d better not wait any longer to dig up the carrots, leaving only the leeks for still later harvest.

img_0380

They join the potatoes, groundnuts, sunchokes, onions, three kinds of squash in storage. Maybe one of these days I’ll see what I can cook up, using as many of the grown-at-home foods as possible.  

There are plenty of indications that the week of the first quarter Moon (7 December) marks the period of a marked weather shift of the season — and the techno-meteorologists agree —  toward much colder temperatures and a significant precipitation event.

First, the first-quarter Sun-Moon pattern: Sun conjunct Saturn (colder) and Moon conjunct Neptune (wetter, perhaps much wetter).

1q-dec2016

On 2nd December, Sun reaches the place of Saturn in the season chart: a reliable indicator of an Arctic air mass beginning to break out of its usual bounds for the time of year. But Sun and Saturn actually reach conjunction on 10 December: That date and the several following are when frigid air plunges deep into the North American continent.

Another indication is the near-equivalence of the angles (meridian and horizon) between the first-quarter chart and the chart for the season.

The complication for first-quarter-Moon week comes from the movement of Jupiter since the equinox: from three degrees of Libra to eighteen. (Jupiter is primarily a warmer-and-drier-air-mass indicator.) For the Twin Cities, the horizon at first-quarter is twenty-two degrees of Libra-Aries, but places where the horizon is eighteen — well, those places may be along the crucial boundary between above-freezing and below-freezing temperature zones. (Kris Brandt Riske asserted exactly that in the very last paragraph of her book Astrometeorology: Planetary Power in Weather Forecasting, 1997.)

But hold on . . . At this longitude, one would have to go north another fifteen degrees of latitude — past Churchill, Manitoba, where the polar bears, if they’re still alive, roam the streets in search of food — to get to where Jupiter would be on the horizon. Somehow, I don’t think the warm air will reach that far north, or even close, given the time of year and other indications for colder conditions.

And the Moon-Neptune factor? They aren’t near the horizon, and thus not showing a major dump of snow for the midsection of the continent — or the coasts, for that matter.

On the 9th and 10th, the Moon-Uranus-horizon factor kicks in, signaling an Arctic blast.

So . . . quite a bit colder, some snow: enough to establish a broad blanket to keep temperatures cold for a good while. But probably nothing meriting a name for a storm. A mid-level event, more than a nuisance but not crippling.

Plowable, that’s it.

-<zoidion>-

Season Shift 21/11/2016

Posted by zoidion in Hellenistic, Long Emergency, Mundane, Weather.
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Twin Cities ephemera: The arrival of the first snow of the season is a strange and rather shocking event — isn’t it? Even though it’s inevitable, even though it may melt and come back again later, or not, it’s still a bit of a bizarre occurrence. All of a sudden, there’s a cold white blanket over everything. It’s such a contrast, from one day to the next. Or from one end of the day to the other.

As on the eighteenth: Rain came in with a strong wind, accompanied by a few flashes of lightning and dull rumbles of thunder, followed by sheets of sleet, followed by swirling snow, as the temperature dropped and dropped.

The day before, I was in the garden doing the last few tasks, while the couple were out there in the triangle (the former community garden) that they’d bought last year, for the apparent purpose of having more territory to mow. He was atop the riding mower, in a t-shirt, grinning from ear to ear — reinforcing my sense that there are a great number of Murcans for whom one of the prime satisfactions in life is riding around, making noise and burning fossil fuel. It’s almost enough to push me into applying for membership in Morris Berman’s WAFer society.

 At times, I felt that the push to complete garden work was more like a mad rush. There were several satisfyingly achy days largely spent digging out the finished compost from the largest of the bins, and spreading it strategically on various vegetable beds. It came to an impressive nine loads of the wheelbarrow, and it looked and smelled good — I didn’t taste it, though I know that some gardeners do so. But . . . there’s no need to detail them all.

Still, the effort — and, primarily, my presence on and with the land and atmosphere — evoked a feeling at least soothing, if not actually peaceful, of the psychic wounds endured through the nearly endless, how-low-can-it-go election extravaganza. (Obviously, VERY low.)

Plus, I — and a great many others — were marveling, enjoying and/or agonizing over the weather. Week after week after week of little but unseasonable warmth, sunny skies and dry conditions. But — of course — it (mostly) made astro-meteorological sense: Mars was moving along and across the lower meridian of the current season’s chart [ link ] (based on the equinoctial moment on 22 September): even though Mars (generally signifying warming and drying conditions) was moving through Capricorn and into Aquarius, in both of which cold, contracting Saturn is lord. Those didn’t at first consideration seem to be a combination for bringing record-breaking warmth through much of the central U.S. and increasing drought conditions and more recently wildfires to the southeastern U.S. 

But these are extraordinary times.

And for the northern plains / Great Lakes region, the shift was strongly marked in the chart of the week: the time of the Full ( Super) Moon on the fourteenth was around sunup (Sun rising, Moon setting) for this region. As Luna moved along and crossed the place of Luna in the season chart on the sixteenth, the moisture gathered and began to be dumped across the landscape; then, as Luna reached the upper meridian, the cold air behind the storm began moving in. No more light frosts: It was time for a hard freeze.

The situation seems reminiscent of the time when the hard freeze came over the American political system, in 2009. The country had been through, and was far from out of, the economic calamity that unfolded during the height of the previous year’s election season. Remember that time, when Dubya Bush said, “This sucker could go down,” and the titans of Wall Street engineered gigundo bailouts? Remember how the legislative operations of Washington nearly shut down after Obama’s inauguration, as Republicans declared that they would oppose anything and everything he proposed?

Well, that — the latter — was symbolized in the planetary configuration of the inauguration: six days before a solar eclipse. The authority, prestige and efficacy of the President (represented by Sol, in detriment in Aquarius — proper for a constrained-power president rather than a king) was indeed eclipsed.

(Detriment signifies a status of being “out of place,” at a disadvantage, weakened, uncomfortable.)

The great hope for positive change that propelled Obama to the highest office — represented by Jupiter very near Sol — was also eclipsed.

usa_regime-change-2009

(The term regime-change is employed, using a noon calculation, because — regardless of the exact time the oath of office is administered — the Constitution stipulates that a presidential term ends at noon, and the next administration slips into place.)

Indeed, the mess was eerily enacted by the Chief Justice’s stumble through the verbiage of the oath administered to Obama: itself aptly represented by Mercury in apparent retrograde motion and in exact conjunction with Sol: faulty verbiage eroding the already-weakening authority of the executive.

The complex and chaotic economic situation was represented by the combination of Venus with Uranus and opposite Saturn: more unhappiness and constraint. There was the pared-down “stimulus” bill that passed Congress, but it arguably did little good, as the fundamental problems — most prominent among them, the bailed-out “too big to fail” banks — went unaddressed. And the health-care-system reform, though upheld by the Supreme Court, has proved to be pathetically inadequate.

In sum, this is a picture of a regime doomed from the start. Almost all it could do was continue the erosion of the nation’s foreign relations, by continuing two distant wars — as represented by Mars (in condition of exaltation) in Capricorn.

(Exaltation indicates conditions of special effectiveness, sometimes redounding in unpleasant, unwelcome and / or destructive ways.)

Compare that with the Dubya Bush regime, which began under a peculiar cloud: the president selected by the Supreme Court rather than elected by the people, the president himself effectively directed by his own vice-president: represented by the conjunction of Sun and Neptune.

usa_regime-change-2001

But notice especially the position of Mars in the seventh place (one of the prime action spots) in domicile in the ferocious zoidion of Scorpio. This of course represents the overwhelming force applied to Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq. The ensuing chaos resulting from woefully inadequate planning and the delusional expectations of the “neocons” is represented by Mars’ angular clash with Sun, Neptune, Mercury and Uranus. The people at home became subject to a vast, invisible information-gathering apparatus, as symbolized by a conjunction of Moon and Pluto.

Now look at the chart for the 2017 regime change.

usa_regime-change-2017

Significantly, Luna is in the same zoidion, Scorpio, as in 2009. Then, Luna was late in the last degree: further indication of the non-viability of the Obama regime. For Trump, Luna is within the first third of Scorpio, in nearly exact angular connection with Neptune — indicating that overall success or failure will hinge on murky matters of images, expectations, visions, confusion, deception, scandal, and (prominently) the oil industry. (Actually, Luna and Neptune were less closely but more problematically connected in 2009, when Obama’s “hope and change” campaign was followed by the dissolution of hope when nothing much changed.) Perhaps Trump can fare better.

Much in that regard will depend on how he and his team handle events in the days and weeks following the solar eclipse conjunct Neptune on 26 February, especially in the first week of March. (See also the article by Pat Paquette on the Mountain Astrologer site.)

Obviously, deep resentments and divisions among the people are still present, as indicated by Luna in Scorpio, where Luna is in “fall” — the most debilitated condition in the Hellenistic system of delineation. Large segments of the population are in dire circumstances, feeling bitter, ready to lash out, looking for someone to punish. The tone of the grinding campaign season hasn’t helped. Toning down the rhetoric — and refraining from “tweeting” (Twitter isn’t making any money and will likely disappear before long, anyway) — is key, and a distinct possibility: Luna is “offered help” in this chart by Mercury the communicator.

Plus, there is a crucial difference between 2009 and 2017: In 2009, Luna appeared low in the western sky, but out of sect in the daytime, thus more problematic. In 2017, Luna is invisible, just below the western horizon: a lower degree number than the ascending degree in the opposite place and zoidion.

As suggested in the previous post, the time is at hand for a fundamental shift — this time, contraction — in the size and scope of the federal government. Prominent among Trump’s campaign themes was an intention to redefine and reduce disadvantageous commercial and military commitments. Indeed, Trump’s triumph has already borne fruit: The Trans-Pacific Partnership deal appears to be a dead issue, though international trade has been declining of late anyway. Others loom: state-level health-care plans, and the status of vast areas of federally-controlled lands in the West. As the struggle over precious Earth resources and the necessities of life intensifies, the battleground shifts to state courts and legislatures.

It seems likely that much more attention will be paid in the years immediately ahead to the Constitution’s Tenth Amendment (the last in the Bill of Rights): “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The chart for the Trump regime indicates emphatically that sweeping changes must begin: the defining opposition of Jupiter and Uranus (a pair representing “the Promethean spirit of rebellion and self-will”*), with Pluto (structural, often overwhelming, change) in the zoidion of business and government). In cardinal zoidia (Libra, Aries and Capricorn, respectively) and in cadent places of the chart, the indications are for relatively swift changes to occur.

As for large-scale “shovel-ready” infrastructure spending: Not likely — not with Venus (related to money and feel-good feelings) beset the way she is in 2017, exactly between Mars and Neptune, and nearly ninety degrees from Saturn. This spells conflict, confusion, constriction. The curious thing is: Every eight years on the same date, Venus is back to the exact same degree, or very nearly. (Take a look at those charts again.) So in some ways, 2017 is a bit like 2009 or 2001 all over again. (“Groundhog Day,” anyone? Maybe we’ll do it better this time, maybe we’ll get it.)

Maybe, just maybe, there may be some dawning awareness that it might be a good idea to look at a long-term picture and recognize that liberating shrinking resources to invest in local public transit and intercity passenger rail might significantly help the nation hold together.

Once upon a time — in the 1970s, when the limits to economic growth** first jolted the nation — someone who worked a glamor-free job wrote a book called Small Is Beautiful.*** Rather than focusing on such nonsensical projects as sending humans to Mars or manufacturing millions of driverless cars, maybe enough political force could coalesce around more modest projects, even reclaiming some of what was discarded.

What a radical concept.

-<zoidion>-

* Mundane Astrology, Michael Baigent, Nicholas Campion and Charles Harvey, 1984

** The Limits to Growth: A Report for the Club of Rome’s Project on the Predicament of Mankind, Donella Meadows, Dennis Meadows, Jorgen Randers and William Behrens III, 1972

*** Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered, E. F. Schumacher, 1973

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