HUNTER’S MOON HERALDS CELTIC NEW YEAR
Fireworks in the Sky for Hallowe’en/Guy Fawkes
Earth’s Crustal Plates in state of Flux
It is horrific to learn of devastation caused by last weekend’s two massive 7.5-magnitude and 7.1-mag. Richter scale earthquakes, interrupting an unusual lull in quakes worldwide. Both are causing havoc and tragic loss in Hindu Kush and Vanuatu.
Algol as Demon Star
Media traditionally tries to displace or make light of world tragedy by focusing attention on the cultural caricature. The current fave demon star is Beta Persei, otherwise known as Algol in the constellation Perseus. The star’s archaic name comes from the Arabic for ‘head of the ghoul’, or ‘head of the Demon’, because it appears to die and come back to life.
Why did early stargazers name this dual star for a ghoul—demon? Beta Persei, otherwise Algol or the Ghoul Star* was known to flicker. Ghoulishly, it was also seen in folktale as Medusa’s hair. Entwined within a legend of a star that fades and returns mysteriously from the Realm of the Dead.
Ancient astronomers calculated its rhythm and guessed—rightly—that its twin star system, with the dimmer of the two bodies passing in front of the brighter, has a regular beat. It causes Algol to shine in spurts—to pulsate. So, throughout the ancient world, Algol was seen as a demon or monster, who, as we know, is the Devil’s familiar. Centuries of observation have proved Arab astronomers’ calculations. 2015 Astronomy forecast is for Algol to reach minimum brightness late Friday night, October 30th 2015 at 11:52 p.m. in central U.S.A. (October 31st 04:52 Universal Time).
*To find the Ghoul Star: look for constellation Perseus—cuddling Andromeda—in the northern evening sky. Perseus lords over the northeast sky, above the bright star group Capella and The Kids (lower left of Perseus) and the Pleiades star cluster (lower right).
Greek and Roman culture associated the star with the Head of Medusa, monster-woman, whose fearful countenance struck a man to stone. Snakes in place of her hair were additional encouragement not to stare.
When the dimmer of the two stars passes in front of the brighter, Algol shines at minimum brightness. Astro forecast calls for Algol to reach minimum brightness late Saturday, October 30th, at 11:52p.m. Central time, U.S.A. (October 31st 4:52UTC).
Ancient astronomers were fully aware of the influence the heavenly bodies’ movements had on their population. Greek and Roman culture controlled their populace by providing—not only bread and circuses—but also seer-oracles with miraculous predictions to affect their worlds.A meteorite, a “Zeus-fallen thing,” was kept in the Temple of Venus on Cyprus, and another in the pre-Hellenic Temple of Apollo at Delphi, on the slopes of Mount Parnassus in Greece. In Rome, a piece of sky iron, regarded as a heavenly shield upon which the tenuous security of the state depended, was cared for and guarded by a special order of priests.
Most famous holy meteorite is called the Black Stone, Hadshar al Aswad. Mounted in silver, it sits in a place of honor in the Ka’aba, the sacred shrine at Mecca, and is circumambulated by all Muslim devotees who make the Hadj, the requisite holy pilgrimage. The sacred stone has a vulvic-shaped cleft which suggests ancient pre-Islamic goddess worship. It is attended by a phalanx of men called the Sons of the Old Woman.
Arabic and Arab culture dominated the sky: star names still bear their mystical Arabian names—their connotations striking fear in believers’ breasts. It may even put goose bumps in ours.
Algol is one of these.
To counteract all the willies, hoolies and ooeys, there is contrast—thank the Angels—in the morning sky.
TRIPLE PLANETARY CONJUNCTION SHINES BETHLEHEM BRILLIANCE
Jupiter Venus and Mars triangle in pre-Dawn Eastern sky
If we have learned anything from last month’s astounding sky tapestry, it is that celestial cycles are never-ending. And there is a rhythm which we normally-oblivious humans can attune to—if we take the time to do that.
Lunar standstill provided the springboard for repeat eclipses, close encounters of heavenly bodies with Earth, and an awareness
that galactic fireworks can be to us—as they were to our ancestors—a source of gratitude and awe for the Great Beyond. Now—tonight—one month farther into this miraculous heavenly cycle of an amazing year—three cycles later than Mayan predictions—we prepare for Hunters’-Harvest full Moon: closest tightest brightest full moon combination of highest tides, lowest rainfall, highest land temperatures and greatest earth movement and tectonic mayhem since the last cycle.
Pacific plate movement is merely a reflection of crustal displacement along the Himalayan upthrust, according to NOAA and USGS. It helps to remember, however, As Above So Below. And it was independently forecast.Ancient astronomers, students of celestial expansion and collapse, would have been amused by our (modern) human frailty and lack of vision, in midst of clear cosmic signs that all is well in Star Worlds.
All this week—prior to and immediately after Tuesday (tonight’s) full moon, where our cultural sight should be set is perhaps less on poor old Sol, led by Saturn into Scorpio’s western clutches over the Pacific.Rather should we look East: Shake our culture shackles and set the alarm to get up before dawn—with Daylight Saving Time imminent—November 1st—this is an easy 6a.m.event. Then feast our eyes on three miraculous planets—Jupiter, Venus and Mars—rising in conjunction within minutes of the Sun’s brightening rays. Each dawn they can be seen, dancing a jig: vying a little each morning for position, getting closer and yet closer into a conjunction mazurka, which will separate and scatter in early November.
Two thousand years ago, such a spectacle would have inspired pilgrims. If we suspend 21stC. disbelief, their heavenly beauty might also inspire us to pause briefly in our headlong millennial crawl over the edge.
If we are all spared~~and allowed to Return from the Dead on Sunday~~ 😉