Athena's Web Weekly Column

  Week of April 7th - April 13th,  2000

Star light, star bright
First star I see tonight...

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   Change is eternal. It is the essence of life. A little over two thousand years ago, changes took place in our understanding of heavenly motion. The consequences have impacted us ever since.

   As we skim the pages of history, we find that there has always been a veneration of the stars, with an attempt to understand the correlations between heaven and earth. But the method of gathering this information has 'evolved' over time, and it is this evolution that has changed our destiny.

Parthenon

The Parthenon in Athens
The Temple of Athena

   The Egyptians and their forbearers relied heavily on observation, building temples to monitor stellar risings, settings, conjunctions and the like. From these observations, the rudiments of astronomical prediction were born; of when and where the planets would be in the sky. The Mesopotamians took this process a step further, by beginning to evoke various mathematical models to help determine the cycles of the planets. In each of these cultures, it was the priests that performed these rituals.

   For this select caste, there was no question that divinity was at the heart of their work. They were motivated by a spiritual flame which fired their quest. They wanted to determine, as accurately as possible, heaven's will for the future. They were visually in touch with the motions of heaven, and their gods. This was one of their principle reasons for scanning the skies.

   The early Greeks represent one of the most radical transformations of this process. Although their early mathematical models were also divinely inspired (such as the Pythagorians and the magic of numbers), the development of geometry and spherical trigonometry so effectively displaced these earlier systems that planetary positions could be determined simply by mental reckoning. With this development, the temples began to fall into disuse, their practical functions, save prayer, dismissed. But this change also severed an awareness of the night time sky, together with the mythologies which had evolved through the millennia. Even so, a mystical link between celestial mathematics and divinity was to continue for centuries, as Copernicus found out when the numbers didn't match the prevailing theological doctrines.

   An alignment which would have fascinated the ancients will occur in the twilights of May, 2000. There will be an amazing lineup of planets through this month, and especially between May 3rd-5th as the Moon joins Venus, Mercury, the Sun, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. This represents the entire cast of visible planets. Because they join the Sun, each will be lost in the solar glare at different times through the month, so that they will be visible during the twilight hours; either just after the Sun sets, or just before it rises.

   It's time to start examining what the implications are for this conceptual feast. What can we anticipate for the immediate future? Over the next few weeks we'll take a look as some of the possible predictions from an astrological perspective, filter them through what may have happened in history under similar alignments, and attempt to graft all these streams onto the current of the future. Won't you join us as we attempt to unravel the weave of this heavenly web?

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Sunrise/Sunset

Taurus Sunrise

Taurus Sunrise

Taurus Sunset

Taurus Sunset

   Although mostly lost in the glare of the Sun, we will be better able to see the planets close to the Sun in the days before and after this line up. All month, Mars will be closing in on Jupiter and Saturn in the evening sky, conjuncting the Jovial Old Soul on April 6th, and catching the Old Man with the Sickle on April 15th. These will all represent important dates, and part of the saga which will emerge. The New Moon on May 4th, the exact Jupiter Saturn conjunction on the 28th, the Uranian squares on the 13th and 20th, as well as the pivots of Neptune (8th) and Uranus (25th) will all be part of an extended drama unfolding this Spring.

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