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August 28th to September 1st
MONDAY AUGUST 28
Dark, Missing, New Moon
Tonight, no matter how late you stay up, you will not see the Moon. That's because the Sun is now in Virgo and the Moon, too, is about to start passing through this sign. We get a New Moon whenever the Sun and Moon are in the same sign. Or rather, we get what we astrologers refer to as a "new moon". Most people, if they notice what's happening at all, call this a dark moon - or a missing moon. To them, the phrase "New Moon" more usually describes the point that we shall reach in a couple more days - when a tiny sliver of moonlight becomes evident once more. The actual, invisible conjunction of the Sun and Moon though, takes place at 11.19am tomorrow.
TUESDAY AUGUST 29
Sun and Moon together in Virgo
If you want to know how far the Moon moves in the course of 24 hours, stand outside and hold your arm up above your head, as far as it will reach. Then stretch your fingers apart. The amount of sky covered by that handspan matches (more or less) the progress that the Moon makes each day. The Moon is new at the moment. It cannot be seen in the sky because the Sun and Moon are forming what we astrologers call a conjunction. They are both together in the sign of Virgo. In a further fifteen days (or handspans) the Sun and Moon will be in opposition and thus, the Moon will be full. The Sun will still be in Virgo when this happens so the Moon, next time it is full, will be in Virgo's opposite sign - which is Pisces.
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 30
Festivals and camper vans
This Summer, my children and I have been leading a nomadic lifestyle. We have been, in our camper van, to several festivals and specialist camps. On our travels, we have met many wonderfully talented people; healers, psychics, fellow astrologers, scientists, artists, musicians, dancers and dreamers. The nights are getting shorter and sharper now. We are heading back to our permanent home. Not so some of our new-found friends. These families live all year aboard converted vans and buses. They follow much the same grand tradition as the travelling fair folk and gypsies. I have lately learned a lot about what life is like "on the road". Over the next few days, I'll share some of this with you.
THURSDAY AUGUST 31
The simple life?
We are entering a century in which there will soon be far less conventional employment. Most factory work will be done by robots. Computers will perform most clerical tasks. What though, will the humans do? Fester in housing estates, gawking at the TV while eking out their dole money? There are children, now living in London tower blocks, who have never seen a field. Meanwhile, vast tracts of open countryside sit empty. Many of us have a gypsy spirit in our souls. Yet is there an option to adopt a more simple life in a caravan, plying a useful trade while moving from place to place? Not unless you want to be hounded by the authorities whilst feared or despised by the land-owning community.
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 1
This weekend, in 1666, the Great Fire of London broke out. It destroyed 13,000 buildings before it was put out. Back then, London had a thriving community of astrologers who met in the coffee houses outside the old St Paul's Cathedral. Most eminent amongst them was William Lilley. People came from far and wide to consult him. He wrote books which astrologers still swear by. A few years before the fire, Lilley published a woodcut depicting Gemini Twins (which traditionally govern London) hovering over a city engulfed in flame. Later, he was briefly accused by parliament of starting the fire to fulfil his own prediction!
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