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Stormwatch 23/02/2017

Posted by zoidion in Climate, History, Long Emergency, Mundane, permaculture, Photography, Uncategorized, Weather.
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Twin Cities ephemera: Somewhat to my surprise, Luna — a waning crescent — was visible through wispy clouds after I verified an empty rain/snow gauge at dawn today: Last night the sky was overcast as I joined some folks near the St. Paul Union Depot — I like to call it SPUD — to check out potential sites for a part of the upcoming Northern Spark festival.

I could feel the change in the weather: the wind out of the north closing out five days of weird warmth. Temperatures had been so much above average that when, a few days ago, seven-tenths of an inch of rain fell, it soaked into the ground: The frost was out of the soil. Such an event is nearly unprecedented around here in February.

On one of the dry days, I felt the irresistible call of the garden: I got my clippers to cut the faded, woody stalks of last season’s kale and broccoli plants. My footing was precarious, as the soil was mucky. The layer of leaves I’d laid down in November improved traction a tad.

On the other, south, side of the walkway, I had another look at last year’s new garden plot, and visualized the rabbit-proof fence that I intend for it. Lettuce, carrots and other compatible veggies should do well there — weather permitting. I’m confident that I’ve done a sufficient job of building the soil.

Fortunately, there’s at least another month of relative leisure before setting to that task. And a “correction” toward colder and snowier weather is due. The techno-weather folks agree.

Another sort of storm — political in nature — is of greater concern, especially as an online article by resource researcher Richard Heinberg brings the current situation into stark focus. He elaborates on his perception that the Trump administration is a “presidency in search of an emergency.”

The article is a grabber right from the title: “Awaiting Our Own Reichstag Fire,” an allusion to the convenient, possibly false-flag, event that enabled the minority Nazi regime to consolidate power less than a month after Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany. It happened eighty-four years ago — hmm, that’s exactly one cycle of Uranus — two-and-a-half days after a solar eclipse . . . on 24 February 1933. (That eclipse was not even visible at Berlin, but rather in the southern hemisphere from Chile to Ethiopia.)

Another solar eclipse, again visible only in the southern hemisphere, is days away, on 26 February.

Then, the eclipse was most closely opposite Neptune (symbol of murky conditions, fakery and such), but also Mars and Jupiter — a perfect recipe for a “fog of war.” And Pluto — symbol of the dark forces of the underworld, including the machinations of plutocracy — was rising at Berlin.


Now, the eclipse is conjunct Neptune, with indications of imminent sweeping changes represented by Mars conjunct Uranus in opposition to Jupiter in square (right angle) to Pluto.


The significance of Jupiter, in the zoidion Libra (referring to judicial matters and systems), is emphasized by the timing of a particular presidential message to his followers.


That was the very day of the once-a-year Jupiter retrograde station: when Jupiter, as seen from Earth, stops moving forward and begins a four-month period of apparent backward motion. It is / was a pregnant moment: a moment of impending reversal.

With those other planets in configuration, it is exceedingly momentous.

To emphasize the precarious situation a bit more: The position of Mercury at the time of that message was exactly — to the degree and minute — conjunct the position of Pluto on the day that birthed a certain founding document. There might be some significance there to the conduct of media of information and opinion.

For some — though perhaps not a great many — the current drama merely confirms the perspective elaborated by John Michael Greer:

Among the standard phenomena of decline and fall, in fact, is the shattering of the collective consensus that gives a growing society the capacity to act together to accomplish much of anything at all. The schism between the political class and the rest of the population — you can certainly call these ‘the one percent’ and ‘the ninety-nine percent’ if you wish — is simply the most visible of the fissures that spread through every declining civilization, breaking it into a crazy quilt of dissident fragments pursuing competing ideals and agendas.

(Serving suggestion: Avoid ingesting “Awaiting . . . “ immediately before bedtime.)



James Howard Kunstler, The Long Emergency, 2005

Northern Spark festival

Richard Heinberg, “Awaiting Our Own Reichstag Fire,” Resilience.com

NASA Five Millennium Catalog of Solar Eclipses

Declaration of Independence

John Michael Greer, Dark Age America, 2016


Australian astrologer Ed Tamplin offers a welcome back-to-basics view of the current and astrologically similar occasions, focusing on the Jupiter-Saturn cycle.


The Occultation Factor 09/09/2014

Posted by zoidion in Climate, forecast, permaculture, Weather.
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Twin Cities ephemera: The Harvest Moon is setting, opposite a rosy sky with Venus and Jupiter, as I set about winnowing a collection of somewhat random notes. The window beside me is open, letting in a chorus of crickets. How curious is that, the sound of those seldom-seen creatures? The air is calm, but, after several cool, dry days, I can feel the return of humidity. Tonight, heavy storms are expected, followed by a sharp drop in temperature.

I’m back from the North American Permaculture Convergence: have been back for a full week. There’s been plenty to do to catch up after being away for only three days during harvest season, including another round of weeding and thinning the volunteers in the herb area. The borage that I introduced last year has spread prolifically to two other areas: no need to allow it to sprawl where I’m wanting the echinacea and arnica and St. Johns wort to get better established. And I waded into the small forest of kale that have been threatening to choke out the groundnut vines in their very first year: It was a silly idea to put the kale there.

The convergence seems almost like a distant, dim memory already. But I do recall attending sessions on “permaculture in media” (mostly, to my surprise, about the role and future of the Permaculture Activist magazine), on the interpersonal side of ecological and community restoration (led by four strong women associated with Gaia University), and on wild medicine. 

And standing somewhat groggily in the breakfast line my first morning there, I noticed, just in front of me, a friend from way back, Ann Kreilkamp. Actually, I thought she might turn up there, though she was surprised to see me. We met in 1995, I think, at an astrology conference, although we had both been contributing to the now long-defunct magazine Welcome to Planet Earth since the mid-1980s. She’s been based in Bloomington, Indiana, for a while, has taken a permaculture design course, is a leader in transforming her community, and posts her own and others’ ideas almost daily on her Exopermaculture site. We had some catching up to do.

Fortunately, I took some notes at the sessions I attended. The ones most pertinent to the ongoing investigation here are from the one titled “Climate Crisis and Resiliency.” There was not a lot with which I was unfamiliar, except for some climate-change-tracking web sites, particularly these: Arctic News, the Dark Snow Project, Climate Reanalyzer,  and Climate Code Red.

The shocker, though, was “Roundup rain”: air and rainfall laced with volatile constituents of that toxic stew. Most of the Mississippi River basin–from the High Plains to the Appalachians–lies under that cloud. Oh well. What could be more important than continuing a practice that has failed from the start, but continues to yield plenty o’ profits?

A more hopeful highlight: David Holmgren spoke to the Convergence attendees via remote technology from his home in Australia. I watched it at the Convergence, but his talk is now available generally via this link. As an accomplished systems thinker and one of the two initiators of the permaculture process, Holmgren’s is a valuable voice, one of whose key perceptions at this point is: The worse the world situation gets, the more the permaculture movement grows.

That was an oft-repeated theme of the gathering: the evidence that permanent culture has become a movement.

Two bits of close-at-hand evidence: The corner site at the main intersection in my quadrant of the city, where a building burned down about ten years ago, and which has hosted a community garden for the past few years, has lately been designated a permaculture site. The city councilman for the ward has given it his blessing.

And: A young couple who live up the street stopped by about a month ago for some gardening-related talk. They introduced the word permaculture into the conversation. In this neighborhood that seems so sleepy, where nearly any summer morning or evening includes the drone of at least one lawn mower, I was amazed and pleased.

And so it goes: The big things get worse, much worse, while the small things get better and better.

When I make a forecast for a particular week, my primary reference point is the chart for the particular lunation: New Moon, Quarter Moon, Full Moon. The season chart, for the most recent solstice or equinox (aka ingress of the Sun into one of the cardinal signs of the zodiac), informs the season as a whole.

The chart for yesterday’s Full Moon is a humdinger.


To begin with, the Full Moon is a Super Moon: one when the Moon is at or close to perigee (closest to Earth: a monthly cycle). The exact opposition of Sun and Moon occurred at 8:38 p.m. Central time, well after sundown; thus, the Sun-Moon axis is not close to the horizon, and even further from the meridian. So at first glance, it might appear that the weather for this region would be unremarkable.

However, the Moon is “ruler” of water sign Cancer, on the lower meridian, the longitudinal factor. That’s why, back in June, I called this week a “wet” one. In fact, the two signs involved–Cancer and Pisces–are the two wettest in the astro-weather zodiac. We are definitely primed for rain.

In addition, the Moon, in approaching fullness, has most recently crossed the position of Neptune, on the upper meridian of the season chart. Translation: The surge of atmospheric tides have gathered an additional and unusual amount of moisture from the south (the upper meridian). It is about to get dumped.

The other part of the forecast was for “turbulent winds beginning 10 September, especially 13 September,” related to the Mercury-Uranus opposition stretched across the horizon. (Moon’s next crossing is Uranus’ position on the 10th, and the Mercury-Uranus combination will be exact on the 13th.)

But there is an additional factor at play: the occultation factor. I’ve referred to it occasionally: It happens when the Moon moves exactly in line with Earth and another planet, briefly eclipsing the other planet. The Moon will do that to Uranus on the 10th, at 7:58 p.m. (according to Jim Maynard’s trusty Astrologer’s Datebook). That’s a special, although not rare, occasion. There are four other Moon-Uranus occultations in 2014: 14 August, 4 November, 1 and 29 December.

What makes this one of special significance is Uranus’ place on the ascendant, the eastern horizon, at the time of the Full Moon. When Moon reaches Uranus, occults Uranus, its characteristic forces will be unleashed:

Uranus symbolizing cold and negation, is the antithesis of the Sun, the dynamic principle of heat and expansion. . . . Imparting negative electricity to the extreme, Uranus induces highest barometric pressure, rapidly declining temperatures and through descending air currents from higher altitudes, conduces to greatest wind velocity. . . . Lower ranges of temperature invariably result . . . when configured with Sun or Mercury particularly. (George J. McCormack, A Text-Book of Long-Range Weather Forecasting)

The central belt of the North American continent will be affected by this outbreak of chill and accompanying turbulence, as the astromap makes plain. Note the red Uranus-Ascendant line.


But what is of particular concern is where the Uranus and (dark blue) Pluto lines converge, through the Gulf of Mexico: the offshore oil drilling region. Will high winds break an oil rig there?

Meanwhile, a vote in the U.S. Senate, on a constitutional amendment in response to the Supreme Court’s notorious Citizens United decision, is scheduled for 10 September. Passage–or not–would likely move the nation a big step closer to a constitutional crisis.

It’s coming. The storms are gathering. The winds of change blow harder.


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