AUGuries - Volume 3
February 5, 2003
Hot Dates and Hot Degrees in 2003
Wanting to send you, our Users, a handy New Year’s gift, we thought it would be a clever idea to offer you a table of hard-to-find planetary info for 2003. Our original idea was simply to take the year’s aspects and rearrange them in degree order so that you could easily see everything that was going on during the year at a particular degree.
However, we wanted to go beyond the usual ingresses, stations, lunations and eclipses. Heedful of the needs of financial and mundane astrologers, we decided to put in often-overlooked stages in planetary cycles -- Supermoons and other apogee/perigee events, aphelia and perihelia, zero declinations and latitudes, occultations and near-occultations, and maximum elongations of Mercury and Venus.
And then, when we thought about it, a “Hot Degrees” table didn’t seem quite enough. . . .
Gary thought that it would be good also to list the same events more conventionally by date. And Madalyn quite rightly pointed out that the patterns would be easier to see if there were also lists arranged by the type of event. And Pat thought it would be helpful to add shading that would make the patterns stand out more clearly, and to make the Hot Dates table more useful by providing separate lists of degrees with their antiscion, contra-antiscion, 45/135 and 360-degree notation points. Plus, the Hot Degrees table seemed to need some additional sensitive points like prior stations, outer-planet aspects and eclipses, plus a few of the really major fixed stars near the ecliptic. And it seemed like a good idea to cross-index events (like retrograde stations) to other related events (like the direct stations).
We also wanted to point out the year’s unusual planetary events like the ingresses of four of the slow movers (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and the Node), the four lunar occultations and three near-occultations of Mars, the transit of Mercury across the face of the Sun on May 7, the clustering of five planets within a 14-degree arc at the June 29 New Moon, the perihelion of Saturn on July 25, Neptune’s being nearly on its own node all year (and exact on August 11), the Supermoon lunar eclipse on May 16 and the Supermoon solar eclipse on November 23, and -- on August 27 -- Mars’s closest approach to Earth in 100,000 years.
The upshot of these obsessive labors was -- what seemed like a quick post-Christmas weekend job grew into a set of five big Ephemerissimo! tables that try to make some coherence and order out of this avalanche of info by sorting it in different ways.
The Ephemerissimo! Tables
The times in these tables are GMT, given 24-hour style to make converting them to other time zones a little easier. So that you can pick what you want, here’s what’s in each table:
1. Astro Events Classified 2003 (17 pages).
Here you’ll find separate tables titled “Ingresses,” “Stations and Retrograde Cycles,” “Conjunctions with the Sun,” “Eclipses and Lunar Phases,” “Four Lunar Cycles Together,” “Lunar Occultations and Near-Occultations,” “Zero Latitude Passes,””Zero Declination Passes,” “Maximum and Minimum Distances from the Sun”and “Maximum and Minimum Distances from the Earth.” You may think that these are exotic types of things you’ll never use as a natal astrologer, but take a look anyway, because these tables show the whole cycles of these events and reveal some interesting patterns. Also, the introductions to these tables give fuller explanations of what you’re looking at, and point out interesting features of 2003. So that you can pick and choose the tables that you think are worth printing out, we’ve started each type of table on a new page.
2. Hot Dates 2003 (17 pages).
Here everything but the kitchen sink is strung on one timeline. This shows you possibly important things you might not see otherwise -- like aspects when one of the planetary pair is on its own node . . . or when an aspect is simultaneously conjunct in longitude and parallel in declination. It also shows you which days are hot with planetary activity (like the Feb 16 Full Moon) -- and which are not (like Feb 14).
3. Astro Events By Point 2003 (24 pages).
To bring out still other patterns, we’ve also sorted the above events by planet, and under each planet by date and time. Any event that involves more than one planet is included under each planet, so you can see everything that’s happening to a particular planet on a particular day. We’ve highlighted the dates and times when a planet is involved in two or more aspects or other events within a 24-hour period. This shows you where the knots and tangles of lines would be on an Ebertin-style graphic ephemeris -- but, unlike graphic ephemerides, it gives you information about both hard and soft aspects, plus non-aspect events, all in the same place.
4. Hot Degrees 2003 (24 pages).
Here’s the whole shebang arranged by sign and degree, so you can take a chart and easily see what’s happening to each placement in it during the year. Within each degree the events are sorted by date and time, so you can see the time sequence of events that happen on that degree. To help you identify a degree’s most active days during 2003, we’ve shaded events that happen on the same or adjacent days. As mentioned earlier, this table, unlike the others, also contains sensitive points like stars and prior eclipses. Since these didn’t take place in 2003, they are placed in italics at the beginning of the degree.
5. Degree Equivalents.
To help you get the most out of the “Hot Degrees” table, here is an additional table that lists all the degrees of the zodiac with:
a) The point that is in a 45- or 135-degree aspect to them (for example, next to 0 Aries you will find “15 Fixed,” which means that 15 degrees of any of the Fixed signs will be in a 45- or 135-degree semisquare or sesquiquadrate aspect to a point at 0 Aries). These aspects are hard to see, but can be important in triggering events.
b) The points that are in antiscion (that is, an equal number of degrees on the other side of the 0 Capricorn-Cancer axis).
c) The points that are in contra-antiscion (an equal number of degrees on the other side of the 0 Aries-Libra axis).
d) The degree converted to 360-degree notation (useful for adding and subtracting degrees that lie in different signs).
This table includes all the degrees of the zodiac compactly on 4 pages. The “Degree Equivalents-8 pages” has the same info but gives you space to note down your favorite sensitive points.
Send Us Your Feedback
So! We have no doubt that mundane astrologers and financial astrologers (those delightfully pragmatic souls whose motto is “I’ll try anything if it makes money”) will see the value of these tables. And -- surmising that probably any influence that moves the masses will have an effect on most individuals -- we hope that these tables will be useful to natal astrologers, too. Possibly the reason most natal astrologers ignore almost everything but aspects on the ecliptic plane is that more info than this is relatively hard to find. To paraphrase that old Sufi parable, maybe we’ve been looking for the keys under the lamp-post, where the light just happens to shine.
Well -- you natal astrologers in particular -- what do you think? Maybe having everything arranged by date and degree does help. But does having a richer, more multi-dimensional sense of what the planets are doing also help you in your work? Or are these tables truly more than you ever wanted to know about planetary activity in 2003?
We hope that astrologers of all kinds will let us know if they find these tables useful. Do you think they just complicate things, or did they prove their worth over the course of the year? Do you think that something should be added (or left out!), or, if you were emperor, would you do something in them differently? Please send your feedback to AUGuries@alabe.com.
One Other Piece of the Puzzle
Complete as we tried to make them, the Ephemerissimo! tables only tell you what’s going on in the heavens, but not how this relates to you at your particular spot on Earth. To get this info, you need to see how the planets relate to someone’s local horizon and meridian -- what is conventionally indicated by the Ascendant, MC and intermediate houses.
Many decades of research done by Michel and Francoise Gauquelin on natal charts have demonstrated that planets seem to have their maximum influence when they’re actually crossing the horizon (rising or setting) or the meridian (culminating near the MC or anti-culminating near the IC) of where a person or event happens to be. This is similar to being conjunct the Ascendant or MC axes, but it’s only exactly the same when a planet (like the Sun, or a planet on its own node as Neptune is this year) has zero celestial latitude. Pluto and Pallas, which in large portions of their orbits can be wa-a-a-a-y off the ecliptic, can be conjunct the Ascendant or Descendant when their actual rising or setting time is many, many minutes away.
You may be familiar with Jim Lewis’s Astro*Carto*Graphy(™) maps, which show where the planets are angular -- and hence particularly prominent -- at a given instant (like a birth, ingress or lunation) all over the world. Jim’s favored method follows the Gauquelin research and uses the actual rising, setting, culminating and anticulminating times rather than conjunctions to the angles.
The other Jim -- JimValliere -- uses these actual horizon- and meridian-crossing times also. In the Kinetic Mundascope(™) graphs that he’s been producing since the 1970s, he shows you the other side of the Astro*Carto*Graphy story -- all the times during the day and year when the planets are crossing the horizon or meridian at one single locality. Fortunately, the locality he’s picked is New York City, which makes his graphs usable throughout the lower 48 states of the U.S.
From Jim’s graphs and his handy directions, you can estimate the times that are the most propitious for starting a new venture, making that crucial phone call, having an enjoyable party, or getting lots of work done -- and the times when you’d be better off just taking a nap or seeing your shrink. To make the all-purpose good times easier to see, he’s shaded in the areas where only the so-called benefic planets are angular.
The beauty of Jim’s Kinetic Mundascope graphs is that they show you the overall pattern of these daily passages of the planets over your local angles. To get more detail -- the precise rising, setting, culminating and anticulminating times for any locality in the world -- you can refer to Solar Fire 4 and 5’s wondrous Flexible Points List. This is a multi-purpose table that you can customize with your choice of statistics about each planet and pop into any Solar Fire page design. The Flexible Points List can give you the rising, setting, culminating and anticulminating times of all the planets for any date and place for which you can cast a chart.
Valliere’s 2003 Almanac Is Ready
The above-mentioned Kinetic Mundascope graphs are provided for each month of the current year in Valliere’s Natural Cycles Almanac 2003, available in our online bookstore for $16.95 plus postage. Besides the graphs, Jim includes directions for using them, tables for adapting them to other U.S. localities, and his own unique take on what’s special about 2003.
Click here to purchase Valliere's Natural Cycles Almanac 2003.
Sources for the Ephemerissimo! Tables
Solar Fire 5 program’s Dynamic Transits & Progressions lists for mutual aspects, stations, ingresses and eclipses. Its Planetarium and Fixed Stars Editor utility for fixed-star statistics and positions as of 1/1/03.
The AstroAnalyst program’s Astro Event Lists for apogee/perigee, aphelion/perihelion, zero latitude and declination. This is Astrolabe’s financial astrology program, first published in 1989. To learn more about The AstroAnalyst, send an email to email@example.com .
Neil F. Michelsen, Tables of Planetary Phenomena, 2nd ed., Rev. by Rique Pottenger. San Diego, ACS Publications, 1995. For close planetary clusterings. Also for a quick way of looking at the long-range planetary cycles that are available in the above computer programs. This is the mother of all table compilations, an inspiration to us and packed with goodies for any curious astrologer. (Available from Astrolabe, www.alabe.com , for $24.95 plus postage.)
Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Observer’s Handbook 2003, ed. Rajiv Gupta. For 2003’s occultations, aspects close in latitude, supermoons, and unusual or outstanding phenomena. Since this is written for observers, it adds interesting insights not available from most astrological sources. There’s also a wall calendar with spectacular galactic photos. (Available from RASC Orders, 136 Dupont St., Toronto, Ontario M4R 1V2, tel. 416/924-7973, or website www.rasc.ca.) (Many thanks to Kathleen Hanna, who brought this to our attention.)
Michael Baigent, Nicholas Campion and Charles Harvey, Mundane Astrology, 2nd ed., rev. and expanded. London, Thorsons (Harper Collins), 1992. Not so much a source of data as an indication of why the data in these tables is so important in political astrology and by extension, financial, and possibly personal astrology also. A monument of astrological scholarship that, unfortunately, is currently out of print.
Year of the Sheep
How hopeful that the New Moon on February 1 began the Chinese “Year of the Sheep” -- also sometimes known, because of its gentle nature, as the Deer. As Susan Levitt puts it, “Sheep year is a time of calm and contentment after the chaos of the previous Horse year. . . . Sheep’s love of peace will help to prevent major political upheavals and severe weather changes. . . ”. Surely what we all want to hear in these times of bad-news overload! Throughout the next 13 lunar cycles, may we remember that it is Sheep year, and do all we can to make its promise more real. (To see Susan’s full text about Sheep Year, visit www.susanlevitt.com )
February Software Special
Take an additional 15% discount off the already low Pre-Release price on your purchase of the Professional Forecaster Report software (discount also applies to upgrades!). To claim your discount, enter the code "SHEEP0203" in the comments section of the online shopping cart. Your discount will not appear in the shopping cart but we will make the adjustment when we process your credit card.
Don't delay -- this offer ends 2/28/03!
About Professional Forecaster
With its 5 major text databases totaling over 800 pages of delineations by Bruce Scofield, the Professional Forecaster is several report programs in one -- an encyclopedic predictive program that includes not only transits, progressions and solar arc directions to the natal chart, but also progressed-to-progressed and transit-to-transit aspects and ingresses. Completely editable.
Pre-Release Price (no manual, plain CD): $250
Upgrade from Daily or Progressed Astro-Report: $150, Regular; $125 Pre-Release
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George W. Bush
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