Monthly Archives: July 2008

Observing the Mars-Saturn conjunction

Today, 10th of July, around 18:11 UT the Mars-Saturn conjunction will become exact at 5º26’ Virgo. The interpretation of this conjunction was dealt with in our previous post, so today we are giving some info regarding its observation in the sky.

5º Virgo corresponds to the “centre” of the constellation of Leo on the Sidereal Zodiac. The two planets will be close to fixed star Regulus, to which the Arabs called “al-qalb[u] al-’asad” (the heart of the Lion).
The conjunction can be easily observed as soon as the Sun sets and the twilight grows dimmer:

Even if at your location this occurs a couple of hours after the conjunction, the distance between the planets will not be noticeable to the naked eye.
To the observer the planets will appear to be slightly of line and not exactly conjunct. This is due to the difference of latitudes, in this case about half a degree. The current latitude of Mars is currently 1ºN02’ while Saturn’s is 1ºN41’.

Such a close proximity of the planets allows us to evaluate the difference of colour between the two planets. Mars has a reddish tone to which the ancients referred to as rust colour, while Saturn presents a yellowish tone.

You can also take the time to observe the Moon which will be in the end of the sign of Libra, very close to Spica, a bluish coloured 1st magnitude star located at 23º57’ Libra. (Note that in the Sidereal Zodiac they are both in the constellation of Virgo.)
Spica will be easy to locate. It will be the bright star just above and to the right of the Moon.

This combined observation allows us to understand the true distance between 5º Virgo, where the Mars-Saturn conjunction occurs, and 23º Libra where Spica is located. It is a much larger distance than the one we are used to see on paper and screen astrological charts.

We wish to all a clean sky, with no clouds and light pollution, and an excellent observation.

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An astrological view of the iPhone

The gadget that all Apple fans are waiting for is coming soon!
The second generation iphone, with new and improved technology, will be launched on Friday the 11th.

To make an astrological study of this event we have to consider three moments. The first and most obvious is the announcement of the 2nd generation iphone, which is the first chart we’ll be studying. Because this is the 2nd version of the iPhone, it is also important to take a look at the chart of the first time the iPhone was ever introduced to the world (in 2007). And because it will only be available to the public in a few days, it is also relevant to observe the astrological configurations for that date.

The much expected iPhone 2.0 was announced in San Francisco, California, on the 9th June, at 10:06 AM. (Source: internet news with detailed timeline of Steve Job’s presentation)

A first look at the chart is quite alarming, as both malefics, Mars and Saturn, occupy the 1st house. Mars is conjunct the Ascendant and the South Node, and Saturn is afflicting the Moon, near the cusp of the 2nd house. Not good.
Furthermore, Mercury, the main significator of any communication device, is retrograde and combust. Indeed, not good.

Does this mean that the iphone 2.0 will be a flop? Not really.

The Sun, ruler of the Ascendant, is quite nicely placed in the 11th house, which shows the strength of the announcement. It is exactly conjunct to the ruler of the MC, Venus (which is therefore cazimi). This shows the impact and public visibility of the announcement (note that Venus also rules the 3rd house).

Besides, the placement of Mars in the 1st house is not as malefic as one would expect. Its conjunction to the Ascendant confers to the announcement a bold and daring tone (which is reinforced by the strength of the Sun).
In addition, Mars rules the 9th house, of foreign countries, and one of the main topics of this event was the announcement of the worldwide launching of the iphone 2.0 (the 1st generation was only available in the USA).

The combustion of Mercury is not as bad as it seems. Mercury is in its own sign, Gemini, and thus essentially stong); this also makes Mercury the dispositor of the Sun, which ameliorates its combust state.
On the other hand, the Sun (which “subdues” Mercury) is the ruler of the Ascendant (Apple itself); this conjunction signifies that Apple (the Sun) is in full control of the gadget (Mercury).

All things considered, it is to be expected some degree of setbacks in the new version of the iphone; these are represented by Mercury retrograde, South Node on the Ascendant and Saturn afflicting the Moon. But even so it will have immense support and visibility.
We can therefore conclude that regardless of a few problems, the new iphone will not be a disappointment.

Let’s now take a look at the announcement of the 1st version of the iphone. It occurred at a particularly fortunate moment, 9th January 2007, at 09:43 AM, also in San Francisco. (Source: internet news with detailed timeline of Steve Job’s presentation)

The chart presents early Pisces rising, with the powerful benefic star Fomalhaut closely conjoining the Ascendant, and the North Node also in the 1st house.
Jupiter, the ruler of the Ascendant, is strongly placed in its own sign and term (at 9º Sagittarius), closely conjunct to the MC.
Just by itself, this configuration points to tremendous success.

It is interesting to verify that this chart also carries a martial tone, as Mars is strongly placed in the 10th house and Jupiter (ruler of the Ascendant and the MC) is conjoining the martial star Antares, the heart of the scorpion. This shows great ambition and the stamina to achieve success.

As to the third moment to be considered, the new version of the iPhone will be made available to public on the 11th of July, just a few days from now.
It is impossible to erect a chart at this point, because it will be available at different times, around the world.
The first purchases will probably occur in Australia, New Zealand and Japan, the most eastern of 21 countries where the iPhone will be available. Because of time zone differences, the 11 of July starts “earlier” there. In Australia, New Zealand and Japan the configuration is more favourable, because Mercury is still in Gemini and the Moon is still in Libra, conjunct the benefic star Spica.
In Europe and the United States the configuration will be less favourable, because of time zone differences. The Moon will already be in Scorpio and Mercury in Cancer, therefore weaker and a bit “muddy”, and so less suitable for this kind of event.
Luckily or all of us, the first, more agreeable, configurations should prevail.

It is just a pity that Apple has chosen the exact day of the Mars-Saturn conjunction for this launching.

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The Mars Saturn conjunction in Virgo

This Summer brings us an important mundane conjunction of Mars and Saturn.
It will occur next Thursday, the 10th July, at 18:11 UT, at 5º Virgo 26’.
This is a minor conjunction within the mundane panorama, as it represents a lesser cycle of the tree superior planets.
Because it involves the two malefics, this type of conjunction is traditionally related to disagreeable effects, like conflicts, scarcity and political instability.

The conjunction occurs in Virgo, where Saturn is currently placed, thus activating its effects.
As Virgo is an Earth sign, it brings concerns related to earthly matters: land crops, resources and food in general; it is also a feminine sign, thus relating to female issues and birth; it is ruled by Mercury, so also relates to communication, interchange, commerce and travel.

The countries affected by this conjunction are, as should be expected, the ones ruled by Virgo, like Iraq and Greece. The same goes for cities ruled by this sign, as Paris, Athens and Jerusalem.

The critical points of this cycle will be harsh contacts between these planets.
The dexter square will occur in 12th December 2008, with Mars at 21º Sagittarius conjunct to the Sun; the opposition in 5th April 2009, with Mars at 16º Pisces, and the sinister square in 11th August 2009, with Mars at 11º Gemini.

European Union

The conjunction chart for Brussels presents a strongly angular Moon, in the MC, at 25º Libra, trining the also angular Mercury, in the Descendant, at 29º Gemini.

The emphasis on these planets suggests much conversation and movement, which is also shown by the identification between the 1st house and the 3rd, both ruled by Jupiter.
The placement of the Moon in the MC, suggests discussions regarding the government and the rulership of the European Union. This is most likely related to the Lisbon Treatise, which is contested by some countries. This will not be an easy matter, as suggested by the square between the Moon and Venus (the Moon’s dispositor and ruler of the MC).
Likewise, the Moon closely activates the contra-antiscia of the Mars-Saturn conjunction, thus reinforcing the notion that some kind of conflict or struggle is to be expected.
The square between the Moon and Venus, and the opposition of Jupiter (ruler of the Ascendant), to the Sun (natural significator of power), also adds a note of tension regarding the issues of government.
Mercury is also very relevant in this chart, not only for being angular and trining the Moon, but manly for dispositing the Mars-Saturn conjunction. It is strongly dignified in its own sign, Gemini, and conjunct the stars Betelguese and Menkalinan, both stars of the nature of Mars and Mercury, thus promising many arguments and fights.

But there are also some ameliorating factors. The Moon’s mutual reception with Venus and the Moon’s conjunction to benefic star Spica, can provide some assistance to this matter, remitting some of its harshness. Besides, the Moon-Venus square occurs in signs of long ascension, thus decreasing the tension naturally signified by this aspect.

United States

In the United States the conjunction falls in the 11th house and the chart presents almost the same degrees as the February lunar eclipse. As the conjunction occurs in the 11th house, it can be expected some conflicts between the government and the congress.

In this chart the Moon is conjunct the Ascendant and rules the 9th house which brings forth matters relating with foreign affairs. This is further emphasised by the conjunction of Mercury, dispositor of the Mars-Saturn conjunction, to the cusp of the 9th house.
The Moon-Mercury trine suggests interchange, communication, frequent travels, etc.

Also note that the Mars-Saturn conjunction activates the 9th house of the previous Cancer Ingress (see previous post); in the ingress Saturn rules the 2nd house and Mars rules the IC, relating foreign affairs (9th) to the country’s economy (2nd) and resources (2nd and 4th).

The angularity of the feminine planets (Moon on the Ascendant and Venus conjunct the MC) suggests the prominence of women or feminine issues in the country’s image.

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