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Archive for Friday 1st July 2005

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Sir Bob

Chiron rising in Sagittarius is how I would sum up the chart of philanthropist rock star Sir Bob Geldof, creator of the Live 8 concerts this Saturday, as well as the infamous Live Aid benefits for Africa in 1985. Chiron, the planet of awareness, healing and transformation, is in Sagittarius, the sign of global themes -- in his very ascendant of all places.

Rising, like the Sun in the east. It's almost too rich for words.

As is often the case with someone a bit larger than life, the person explains or exemplifies their astrology better than their astrology explains them. Once again, we see Sagittarius prominent in the chart of a person able to do worldwide organizing for a truly global cause. He can THINK globally. And he can take action in practical ways -- locally, on the ground, in the real world. He's a dreamer, but not just a dreamer.

Once again, we see Chiron placed as the most prominent planet of a person dedicated to service, healing and transformation of consciousness. But these people have a few things in common: they do it their own way. They are daring about it. And they are compelling.

Chiron focuses that Sagittarian energy like the lens in a laser, and when you place it in the ascendant, that particular quality dominates the soul and personality. Often, the angular houses (1st, 4th, 7th, 10th) have a way of speaking for the whole chart. So Chiron becomes the thing you notice, the strength that is put forward first, and the defining quality of the person.

Here's the chart. I'm sure you'll notice plenty that I don't:


The thing about Geldof is that he's different. "Not your average rock star" comes to mind. And not only is he different, he gets away with it in fine style. He exemplifies the Chirotic qualities of maverick, of leader and teacher, and of one who can pull off these shamanic-styled events that muster the energy and offerings of superstars who are more accustomed to doting over their Ferrari collections than thinking about African debt relief.

There are a few more points of Sagittarius that warrant mention, all prominent in his chart. First, Chiron is sitting right on the Galactic Core at 27 degrees Sagittarius. The G.C. is the bulge at the center of our vast Milky Way galaxy, our island in space consisting of some 300 billion stars. Think of the metaphor. Chiron is like a condenser gathering together the power of an inconceivable mass of the blinding light, solar energy and the immense gravity holding our galaxy together. All of which is beamed through Chiron via satellite straight into homes around the world, raising awareness of an issue that few politicians have the guts to mention seriously, much less do something about.

Chiron itself has close ties to Sagittarius, and has a galactic feeling to it. In my experience, it's the single most articulate spokesperson for galactic energy besides the G.C. itself -- and he has the two in a conjunction. Sir Bob gives the feeling that he's a visitor from afar come to make things right on our little planet, as best he can. He reminds me of Gandalf, who was sent to Middle-Earth by the gods and goddesses of Valenor, to help men and elves defend themselves against Sauron. (This is written in "The Silmarillion" by J.R.R. Tolkien.)

Now, life has not been a stroll in the garden for Sir Bob to become, or live as, this person. People with Chiron in the ascendant can feel such pain and face such a struggle over existence so profound that when they finally rise above it, they have gathered exceptional and unusual abilities. I don't know his biography, but I can practically smell the history coming out of that Chiron, history that he has turned into wisdom, impact and the willingness to face huge adversity for the greater good. On some vastly important level, we get the feeling that he is doing what he came here to do.

Bob also has a lot of planets in the 8th house, the house of death and transformation. Eighth house people are good at handling emergencies, and our planet certainly qualifies as one huge emergency at the moment. He also knows the feeling of wrenching change, and responds with compassion and intelligence. Mars (plus Venus, both in Virgo) in this house trines Chiron, offering him an open pathway of expression. And with so much Virgo, he has to DO something; he has to make himself useful -- fortunately for the rest of us, but it really helps him to stay busy.

And note the power of the 8th house to marshal the resources of others to get the job done.

There's a bit more Sagittarius to cover. Close to the Galactic Core, just above Sir Bob's ascendant in the 12th house and halfway between the Sagittarius Moon and his rising degree, is something else called the Great Attractor, located at 14 degrees of Sagittarius. This is an INTERgalactic point -- a point between many galaxies, and quite far away from our own -- that is so powerful it can make even Britney Spears famous. It's not a planet or star, but a mass of dark matter that is pulling a million galaxies toward it rapidly in a kind of anti-big-bang.

Many people with far-reaching impact have a prominent placement of the Great Attractor. They pull toward them, inspire and empower strong friends, and also detractors who usually can't do anything about their gripes. It shows up in the charts of important events, such as the sinking of the Titanic (Jupiter was sitting on the Great Attractor). One distinct quality of the Great Attractor is that those with a strong placement of this point have impact far beyond what they ever imagined.

And we can't forget a tribute to Sir Bob's Sagittarius Moon, which gives him a sense of undefeatable optimism and the "Sagittatitude" to get the job done. Just don't get in this guy's way. If you do, he won't even see you when he runs you over.

Then there is good old Libra.

Sir Bob is one of those (Sun) Libras who give this sign the feeling that it's true symbol should be a blowtorch. Others in his league include Bruce Springsteen, John Lennon, Oscar Wilde and Patric Walker. Bob adds a few extra planets to Libra as well: note the Mercury-Saturn conjunction near his Sun (hardworking, practical, balanced, a touch depressive), plus visionary, idealistic Neptune close at hand -- high up, near the MC. He clearly does not care that he attempts impossible things -- thus he gets them done.

All of this Libra activity is in the 9th house -- the house of Our World, of international issues, and practicing what you preach.

Apparently Geldof really gets results. According to the News24 web site, Live Aid's legacy "'is still very tangible in Ethiopia through a famine early warning system and aid distribution mechanism,' said Paul Hetherington, from the British charity Save the Children," the site reported, in an article published this week.

"In 1984, no food distribution mechanism existed in the country. Now a series of warehouses are dotted nationwide and most of the 150 trucks purchased with Live Aid money are still transporting food across Ethiopia. Hetherington said the donations surge sparked by Live Aid allowed charities to expand and forced them to become more professional and accountable."

As for Bob's current transits, what really stands out is that Pluto is exactly occupying his degree rising to within a few arc minutes this weekend. I don't know if he has an astrologer, but if not, he has very good timing.

Here's to bright sunny days in all the Live 8 cities around the world, and here's to everyone dialing that freephone with your donation.

The web page again is:

Sir Tempel 1

In other news, on Sunday night, NASA, the U.S. space agency, is going to attempt to blow up Comet Tempel 1 to see what it's made of. This is from a NASA press release on the mission:

"For the last five billion years of our planet's violent history, Earth has been walloped by comets. These small bodies and their asteroid cousins whacked Earth often in its early years, knocking the stuffing out of our young world. As the solar system matured, impacts happened less often -- but they have never ceased. Earth bears its scars in the form of weathered craters and extinct species. This 4th of July is payback time. For the first time in history, Earth gets to strike back. The weapon: a NASA spacecraft named Deep Impact. The target: a 10-mile wide comet named Tempel 1."

Besides being an exquisitely dumb idea, I want to object to the taxpayer's dollars going for such schmaltzy writing. Walloped and whacked and knocking the stuffing out of our young world? Payback time? Lordie, somebody please start editing -- in red marker.

Plus, I object to the fact that we have taken the idea of a "preemptive strike" to the level of a planetary body that's never hurt us. Furthermore, these NASA geologist guys just LOVE comet craters; I personally know that they cannot get enough of them, and they come home soaked in dirt. So they should stop whining.

And -- seriously -- do we really want dinosaurs strolling around eating our dogs and trees?

Though I can usually giggle along with space exploration projects, pretending to ignore all my suspicions about them, I say leave the comet alone. From an astrological, and therefore spiritual and metaphysical perspective, comets are vitally important. The Chinese have a vast tradition reaching back many thousands of years of divining the future from comet tails. These visitors from the ancient solar system are always portents and messengers. What's the message they're trying to get rid of? And what is the divinatory message of the exploding comet plume?

Back in the days before outer planets (also called modern planets), comets were the only visitors we had from the distant reaches of the solar system. And they always implied important changes. What happens on Sunday/Monday is something that has never happened before -- so all we can do is watch and see. And look closely. Maybe the comet will get the last word.

Here is the chart for the impact, using the stated time of the event, set for Pasadena, CA, the mission control center where this thing called the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL, NASA's scientific private contractor) is located, as the location. Using mission control as the location of the chart is a dependable method, and you have to put the chart somewhere on Earth.


Looking at this chart the first time, my eyes went two places first. Generally, it's a good habit to look at the angles straight away, and that's what happened. That generally means the ascendant first (left hand horizontal line), then the MC (10th house cusp), and the 4th cusp (also called the IC) and the 7th house. That, you can do in a glance. Three of these angles give us important info right off.

The first thing I saw was Uranus in Pisces rising. Uranus is the planet of surprises and Pisces certainly has its share of interesting material, and this is a fitting ascendant for a scientific journey into the spacey unknown. The ascendant, at 3 degrees and 8 minutes, is solid enough for the chart to hold up to study; horary astrologers of old trained their students not to trust charts with ascendants below 3 degrees or above 27 degrees. I don't argue that particular point.

Uranus in Pisces rising is what you could call deep impact.

Next, I see the Great Attractor prominent in the chart. Look at the dark line on top of the chart, with the 13 [Sagittarius] 34 up there. The Great Attractor is located at just over 14 degrees of this sign, so we're very close. You could say that this is another symbol for deep impact. The Great Attractor, as I mentioned in the chart of Sir Bob, reaches far and wide. In other words, this event is more important than it seems on its face.

This is repeated by the presence of Pluto in the 10th house (the red thing up top). Pluto gets extra prominence because the Moon is in the opposite house and sign (Gemini in the 4th house), about to make an opposition aspect to Pluto. That too has the feeling of impact, and the involvement of the Moon and the 4th house suggests it's something we feel, and something that affects our security. That Gemini Moon has a bit of "two sides to the story" though, like just about anything where the concept of "security" is raised.

I've received some queries from readers about whether I feel this event bares any resemblance to the comet that hit Jupiter in the summer of 1994. There are certainly overtones of that (that was an odd summer -- the O.J. trial, for instance), but my take is that the involvement of Jupiter is what magnified that particular event greatly, and Jupiter in Scorpio is what made us feel it so deeply.

Also, we do need to remember that one of Jupiter's most important jobs is to be a big cushy gravity magnet to suck in space debris, which may otherwise smash into the Earth. So in reality it was just doing its job.

Here, I want to offer some back story on minor planets. I am aware that one reason there have been so many discoveries of centaurs and other minor planets lately is because NASA has been searching the skies for things that might hit the Earth. This project is being carried out by something called Spacewatch Team. Their literature states that they are doing pure science, to further knowledge of the early solar system, which is true and really quite valuable. But as I understand it, there's a bit more to the story -- this ongoing project of finding all the near-miss objects in orbit.

So far, there have been no discoveries of things on a real collision course with Earth. But we do have many new astrological toys -- Varuna and Quaoar and Sedna, and many centaurs such as Chariklo, Hylonome and Asbolus.

The question is: what would the space boys do once they find something that could be a real problem? Well, they would probably want to send a probe up there and nuke the thing, or push it off course somehow. When that time comes, if that time comes, they're not going to want to do it without at least one dry run under their belts. And while I have absolutely no confirmation of this from official sources [but one source quite familiar with NASA and its history offered me the same idea today], it's a logical theory that this is at least part of what they are doing with Comet Tempel 1. As my source, a NASA historian, said, "They are practicing, for whatever."

I tracked down the approximate discovery chart for Tempel 1, back in April of 1867 in France. In that chart, there is a very close Sun-Neptune conjunction in Aries. On Sunday/Monday when the comet takes the impact, the transiting Sun (now in mid Cancer) will be exactly square the Neptune placement of the discovery chart (then in mid Aries). When you see a strong Neptune like that, particularly repeated twice, you want to look for something that's not what it seems on the surface, or something that is not necessarily true.

Also notice how the Moon in the impact chart makes an exact aspect to Neptune in the 12th house. It's a trine, precise to six arc minutes (1/10th of a degree). Neptune is all over these charts. So, we need to look deeper, and watch for the invisible results of this impact. And we need to remember, in the language of the agency itself, that since the 1970s, every NASA program has been designed to have what's called "dual use" -- both military and civilian application, and all the recent administrators of the space agency (going back 20 years) have strong ties to the space weapons programs and industries.

Though NASA was created in the 1950s as a civilian agency, it has become increasingly militarized since after the Apollo program. For example, the Space Shuttle's cargo bay dimensions were designed to be large enough to fit the largest military intelligence satellite of the time. And later, NASA began using Titan IV rockets for lofting civilian satellites. The Titan IV was designed as an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Both are examples of "dual use."

The dual use theme shows up in the Gemini Moon opposite Pluto. And an interesting image of this militarism appears in the chart -- Mars in Aries on the North Node. The Node can reveal the purpose of things, Mars is the warrior, and the 2nd house is what one possesses that nobody else has, um, perhaps like a secret weapon for instance. I will now go back to reading trashy science fiction novels.

Why Does The Moon?

Dear Eric,

I need help with understanding the movements of the Moon. For several years now, I've been learning to follow the planets using an astrological/planetary date book that shows dates and times (by time zone) for the aspects and movements of most planetary bodies.

Here is my question:

What determines the length of time that the Moon spends in each sign, and for which it is void-of-course? I understand the general concept, but I can't for the life of me figure out why some times, the Moon is void for hours, and sometimes, mere minutes.

Unfortunately, the book doesn't seem to offer an explanation for this phenomenon. Could you please help me?

Thank you so much for your time, and thank you to Jonathan for all the joy and help that your horoscopes bring into our lives!

Warm regards
Seattle USA

Dear Jade

Before I get into the technical aspect of your question, I would like to make a recommendation: please get yourself a better ephemeris, and please get a copy of the "Arkana Dictionary of Astrology" by Fred Gettings.

Planetary date books are nice; they often have interesting information. But if you have an interest in astrology that lasts consistently, say, for more than a year, invest in real tools. The best ephemeris is an annual edition called Raphael's. It's not widely available in the United States and I recommend getting it by phone order from the London Astrology Shop (linked from my homepage, bottom right). They carry it year round. Most places that do get it run out early in the year. It costs about $10 and is one of the best astrological tools ever published. A new one comes out each autumn and once you get started, you will wait eagerly for it.

And, since much of astrology is learning the meaning of words, I highly recommend having access to books that tell you what words mean. Gettings' is the best dictionary that I've seen. Another source in this league is the Astrology Encyclopedia by James R. Lewis, which is excellent. Used ones are cheap on Amazon.

You can also Google things. But information on the Internet is only as good as its source. So read several sources and contrast them, looking for common ground and divergences. You will eventually piece together some coherent ideas.

As for the technical part. Your question is really two questions. The void-of-course Moon is one thing, and the speed of motion of the Moon (which determines how long it spends in a sign) is something different. It is not just the Moon's speed that determines the length of the Moon void, but rather (much more significantly) the positions of the other planets.

First let me address the speed of motion issue. All the heavenly bodies that orbit the Sun do so in elliptical orbits, that is, slightly egg-shaped circles; the Moon orbits the Earth in an ellipse as well. When the Moon is close to the Earth (perigee), it moves through the signs more quickly. When it's at the far point (apogee) it moves more slowly. This is a visual illusion; it moves the same speed in reality, but it moves through the signs in more or less time.

Raphael's is the only ephemeris I know of that still has tables for daily motions of the planets, which are less important now that computers do most of our chart calculations.

According to this table, today, June 30, the Moon will move 12 degrees and 51 minutes.

It is now slowing down, approaching the apogee. By July 8, it will move only 11 degrees and 50 minutes in one day. Then it will speed up. By July 21, it will move an incredible 15 degrees and 18 minutes in one day. As you can see, this is a very wide variable, more than 20%.

The speed of the Moon is an interesting thing to watch in charts. William Lilly, the great horary astrologer of the 17th century, said that while the Moon does not ever go retrograde, when it is slow, it is the equivalent of retrograde.

Set that aside.

The void-of-course Moon can be defined as: the interval between when the Moon makes its last major aspect to any planet in any sign, and when it enters the next sign.

Let me state it a little longer-hand. When the Moon enters a new sign, which it does every two to three days (that variable depends on the speed, see above), it begins making aspects to planets. It will square this planet and trine that planet and is like a baseball that's in play, bouncing from aspect to aspect.

Eventually, the Moon will run out of planets to make aspects to -- for that trip through a particular sign. And when this happens, the Moon is said to be void, until it enters the next sign. It is out of play until it reaches a new sign and starts making new aspects.

The main factor that affects how long the Moon is void is how late in any other sign the last planet out is standing. (You see all this action by watching the degree numbers, by the way.) Currently this is Saturn, which is in the 29th degree of Cancer. So there will be relatively short lunar voids, as the Moon moves about a degree every two hours. The Moon will aspect Saturn at the end of a run, keep going, and enter the new sign fast.

For now, the lunar void will end about three hours after the last aspect to Saturn. When Saturn goes into Leo, it will no longer be the latest planet in a sign. And the timing factor will change significantly, because a different planet will be the latest planet out in its sign. And if that is standing at, say, 25 degrees of its sign, you could have Moon voids that last 10 hours or longer.

When Chiron retrogrades back into Capricorn it will be the latest planet out, and there will be Moon voids that last a matter of minutes, at first. But most lunar tables don't count Chiron, which is the first problem with commercial lunar tables that I would like to bring up. Whether you count Chiron is something of a personal issue. But it is certainly a planet with a great influence, and if a date book ignores it, that should go in its included definition of the lunar void. There is a case to be made for not using the newer planets or asteroids, but by that logic, we should consider whether to use Uranus, Pluto or Neptune -- most commercial lunar tables do.

The second problem is that lunar tables (as in your date book) don't count the part of fortune. When the part of fortune is applying in a major aspect to the Moon, the Moon is NOT void-of-course. It's in an aspect, no matter what else is happening. Most people don't know this rule, and since the part of fortune depends on knowing the ascendant (a local phenomenon) it cannot be listed in a date book.

The third problem with date books is that they count the void period as beginning at the exact moment of the last aspect. This is entirely inaccurate, and they should all issue an apology to their readers and publish a correction. The Moon's void period actually begins AFTER the last lunar aspect is done separating; that is, when it enters a new degree. When it is partile (or in the exact degree of the aspect), it is still IN aspect and thus is NOT void.

This can be a difference of as long as two hours! That means that the commercial Moon void times given in date books can be inaccurate by up to that long. Fortunately, they are erring on the safe side; but typically the void is shorter than they actually say.

None of this addresses what about the Moon void is meaningful in interpretation. And that has different applications for different circumstances. I'll get into that a different week, but I'm sure I've covered it in this column before; please check the archives.

Here are two archived links to check for Moon v/c articles:
Eric Francis - April 22nd
Eric Francis - March 18th

Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs)

Hi Eric,

You recently wrote, "The TNOs (objects in and beyond Pluto's orbit) talk..." That's one way to say it, but isn't it a bit confusing to define them as using Pluto's orbit when you are talking about trans-NEPTUNIANS? I constantly find astronomy so difficult to understand, but the Minor Planet Center (MPC) put the definition as: "Trans-Neptunian objects have orbits with semi-major axes beyond the orbit of Neptune." At first I couldn't be sure of the meaning of "semi-major axes" as I'm not an astronomer nor do I speak English so well, but I checked that "semi-major axes" is the same as "the mean solar distance" of a planet.

I don't know how much the language barrier complicates things for me, but although the name "TNO" should already say it all, it has sometimes been difficult for me to understand in which category a certain object belongs to and why (because of elliptical orbits and all the orbit-crossings, etc.), but now the MPC's definition has made it much more simple for me: I just need to compare the semi-major axes of an object with Neptune's distance from the Sun.


Dear K,

Thanks for this question. Actually, your English is amazing, just to get that bit out of the way. I think you explain it well, but I want to offer a diagram and a bit of a caption to illustrate the idea of a trans-Neptunian planet. This is the continuation of the asteroid discussion last week, with a link further back in the archives on Sedna and Quaoar provided there.

There is this idea floating around that "Pluto is the furthest planet from the Sun." Schools still teach about the "nine planets." This is a little like those old cartoons in MAD magazine where there's a map in front of the classroom that lists Africa as "unexplored." (Some of us actually remember this. Just think -- unexplored. They were very old maps.)

A bit of history is in order. In 1781, the first planet outside the traditional seven visible bodies (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) was discovered -- Uranus.

Actually, Galileo got a look at Neptune through his telescope in the winter of 1612-1613 -- but in true Neptune style, he did not think that it was a planet. Rather, because it was close to an exact station, he thought it was a fixed star. So Neptune remained undiscovered until one evening in 1846 when, based on the mathematical calculations of the French astronomer Le Verrier, the enormous, blue world was found by German astronomers after just a half an hour of searching where Le Verrier told them to look. This proves scientifically that the French can be quick and efficient when they really want to be.

Bearing in mind that the discovery of asteroids began in 1801 with Ceres, proceeding more or less continuously throughout the period of discovery of the additional major planets (and to the present day), the next big discovery was Pluto. That was in 1930. Unbeknownst to scientists, they had not discovered just a planet, but rather a whole region in space where millions of bodies hang out, some of which get pulled into the inner solar system and become comets, centaurs or asteroids. This was eventually called the Kuiper Belt, after the scientist who theorized its existence.

The Kupier Belt, a kind of wide, cloud of relatively small icy planets and asteroids, remained theoretical until the 1992 discovery of (15760) 1992 QB1. This was the first planet discovered beyond Pluto. And I'll bet you a pint you've never heard of it unless you read my more esoteric articles, as I love to mention this interesting bit of space debris.

Pluto does have a moon, called Charon (not to be confused with Chiron), which was discovered in 1978. That, technically, is the second Kuiper object discovered (after Pluto). But Charon is so close in size to Pluto as to be considered a binary planet with Pluto. What we call Pluto is really two little planets orbiting each other. Until the actual discovery of the Kuiper Belt in 1992, Charon was just considered a satellite of Pluto. Now it, too, is considered a Kuiper object.

Then QB1 was discovered and a whole new discussion began. Yet despite having been discovered 13 years ago, QB1 remains unnamed, which is really interesting, considering that a wide variety of small planets beyond Neptune have since been discovered and named (these include Varuna, Quaoar, Sedna, and a bunch of others).

Once QB1 was discovered (the same year as the centaur planet Pholus, much closer to the Sun), the floodgates opened, and astronomers began to classify two categories of things beyond Neptune: Plutinos (little Plutos, things with orbits of around 248 years) and Cubewanos (after QB1, with longer orbits). Both are considered TNOs or trans-Neptunian objects. In both cases, their average distance from the Sun is more than that of Neptune. And both Cubewannos and Plutinos are members of the Kuiper Belt (KBOs). Astronomy loves to name things. That's what the word means -- naming the stars.

Astronomers have come up with a naming scheme for the KBOs Plutinos are named for underworld gods. Cubewanos are named for gods of creation and resurrection. Not that astronomers believe in the gods; that's the job of astrology.

Let's use Varuna, a Cubewano, as an example. Varuna was discovered in 2000 and was given minor planet catalog number 20,000. It was considered by science to be a vastly important discovery, and in truth it should be equally respected by astrology. It happens that Varuna is in mid-Cancer and next week's Cancer New Moon is exactly conjunct this meaningful little planet.

It's named for the supremely important pre-Vedic creation deity, who was demoted to the lord of waters by subsequent kingdoms. Still, there is no way to actually demote a god. He has been described as a force that is "behind everything." My keywords for Varuna include "the great equalizer." One of Varuna's themes, both astrological and mythological, is the punishment of liars.

Here is the orbital diagram:

orbital diagram for Varuna

The Sun is at the center, but it's not drawn in. The purple circle is the orbit of Jupiter. (The orbits of all the other planets and most of the asteroids are so small that they can be contained way inside the orbit of Jupiter.) The beige or gold one, second orbit out, is that of Saturn. The dark blue one is Uranus. The green one is Neptune.

The light blue orbit is that of Pluto. Note that Pluto is an orbit crosser, entering Neptune's orbit in early Virgo and leaving in mid-Sagittarius.

The circle that's partly pink and partly gray is Varuna. Notice how long the orbit is; it takes Varuna 283 years to go around the Sun as compared to Pluto, which takes about 248 years. Unlike Pluto, Varuna has a fairly circular orbit, and Pluto crosses the orbit of Varuna as well.

The diagram shows how Varuna's aphelion, or furthest point from the Sun, is in Libra, and how its perihelion, or closest point, is in Aries.

Like the Moon, all planets have nodes, the point at which they raise north or south of the ecliptic (the apparent path of the Sun around the sky). For Varuna, the planetary nodes are in Cancer and Capricorn.

That provides a visual aid to see what some of these orbits look like. Many of the trans-Neptunians have far longer orbits than Varuna, and some are shorter. The diagram is courtesy of Robert von Heeren, my friend, colleague and centaur astrology teacher. You can reach Robert at

Catch you next week! Don't forget to tune into for ongoing coverage of the Deep Impact probe and the Cancer New Moon. And remember to subscribe! Your subscription not only gets you the best weekly horoscope in the business, an essay each week and much besides. It helps support this Q & A project and the massive, free Planet Waves web site. Thank you for that.

Signing off from Montreal, Quebec, this is Eric Francis.

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