A Voice In The Wilderness

December 14, 2009

Sometimes it’s really frustrating to be putting out ideas before their time has come – worse than that, you often don’t get credit or profit (if at all) until it’s entirely too late. In my case, composite charts are a good example. I introduced them (in The Composite Chart: The Horoscope Of A Relationship, Weiser 1973) and despite my introduction to the contrary, Rob Hand’s subsequent and better-promoted book on them (Planets In Composite) got him all the credit, and the profit, for twenty years, until the definitive Composite Charts came out. Similarly with cycles, the general concept and the parts and pieces of which were around and discussed by the likes of Charles Jayne, Dane Rudhyar, and Grant Lewi. The next step – the idea of plotting cycles and their relations, intersections, and dynamics on graphs – was obvious and pinpoints times and events no other method can, and it was introduced in Astrological Cycles and the Life Crisis Periods and later Dynamic Astrology.  Thirty years later, there has still been no accessible computer program that does these, despite hundreds of requests and a couple of failed programming attempts on both sides of the Atlantic. I did it better on my Apple II back in 1979. What gives?

Similarly, the idea that planetary effects are part of a larger picture of similar proportions at all scales, with all phenomena, large and small, has been around since Classical times, even flourished briefly in the late Renaissance, and yet modern astrologers still fail to get their heads around it, to their continuing discredit. The temptation to sell astrology as some sort of instant amateur psychology (which it does well enough) or fortunetelling still obscures the larger picture. Sometimes I wonder what it takes to bring the obvious to the fore, when the stagnant present has no ears to listen or eyes to see.

When I was growing up in the 1950s, my dad pointed out on a globe how neatly Africa and the Americas fit together and said they must have been joined in the distant past. He was describing plate tectonics, which was still totally ahead of its time then (my dad got it from reading Alfred Wegoner in the 1920s), but it made sense to me, indeed it was obvious. And now, generations later, it’s finally gospel, far too late for Wegoner to benefit.

In similar vein, I often feel like a voice in the wilderness. The hows and whys of where astrology meets science (or just reality, how things work) are barely being debated while one side misses (or arrogantly denies) the legitimacy of the other. I see a lot of astrologers, and scientists, who don’t know better but who should, since they all claim to be seeking the truth of the matter, not fighting over control of some myopic, proprietary version of it. I also see a small core of both trained scientists and astrologers who are on the right trail, but are ignored or even ostracized for their views, when they express them, in their own communities. Not that I know where all the answers lie, but I can point, and it’s generally not where the rest of the world is pointing in the specific areas of science and astrology – though it’s often where world movements of eco-psychology and “theories of everything” are treading fearlessly, without every thinking to include astrology.

Go back and look at the signs, folks. It’s all of a piece, and planetary rhythms are integral reflections of the rest of the proportions of most scales large and small. They all resonate with, and within, each other – from the ages to the micro-moment, from mega-macro to mini-nano.  A little willingness to look outside of each profession’s own limitations would go a long way to remove those limitations and bring us to a united physical world view that includes physics, chemistry, evolutionary biology, and cosmology, with real planetary effects included. Since the 1960s, a period when hopeful uniters briefly flourished, the world has been at the mercy of dividers and deciders on a roll to separate and individuate the post-modern arts and sciences, in an individualistic and separatist illusion with dreadful political and economic results. It’s about time the pendulum came back the other way. When it does, we’ll see it’s all of a piece, and we’ll all get a bigger piece of it. I’ve seen (and often articulated) the vision, and I only hope I see it come to pass in time to benefit personally. Posthumous glory has little appeal to the living…those of my “certain age” understand it better than most, but it transcends generations, as only lengthy periods of ignorance (and, occasionally but briefly, wisdom) can…

Hidden Visions, Winding Road

December 3, 2009

In the speedy world of astro-blogs, where everyone has to have something to say every day about something – anything – astrological, I wonder how many writers are coming from newly-acquainted, instant-gratification space and how many from a lifelong, visionary dedication to the art. It would seem the former get most of the attention and the latter (who don’t publish so often) get the back seat, to the general degradation of the subject.

Some of us have travelled a long and too-undocumented road to get where we are, often hiding the visions that brought us here, for reasons of modesty or risk to other professional endeavors, and it’s time we spoke up, as it’s getting late in the game for this little progress. I’ve just done so in a tripartite, multimedia effort at www.astrococktail.com/astrologerstale.html and I hope it will encourage others to reveal how they got here as well. Go look, and listen. In my case, the path led through the 1960s experience of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, but done with extreme care and repeated analysis every step of the way. I achieved a lot then, more later, and there is yet more to be done while life still remains.

The issues of who we are, how it’s all put together, and what to do with it are still the first page on everyone’s book, but we still await something newly meaningful to say about it. Starting from a background in science, history, and the classics, I’ve had first-hand experience with strange phenomena ranging from reincarnation to spirits from the beyond and more, along with a career full of truly needy astrological clients looking for explanations of things they can’t quite put together, either. Now, with the wolf at too many doors and diminishing returns from our former, lesser options (across several generations), it might be a good idea to regroup and say what we have experienced about the immediacy of life – what we have learned, what we live and die with, and what’s next.

What are your hidden visions that you haven’t revealed, or didn’t pursue? What are you going to do about them before you waste the windows you were given and they slam shut? It’s not just an individual issue, it’s about agreement, consensus, and a way forward. It’s not all wasted — not yet — but too soon, if we don’t speak up… What say you?

Weather Vanes

November 7, 2009


The idea of the planets predicting the weather has been in general speculation since people notice both planets and weather, together. For a good history, see Kim Farnell’s excellent astrological weather article. But really, how does the above really influence the below here? According to the chaos theory butterfly concept, you shouldn’t be able to predict it, as there are too many variables. A breath of air here magnifies to a hurricane there – or more problematically, yet someplace, almost anyplace else.

But maybe scaling, as we’ve been discussing here and here, calls the shots. Perhaps it’s “invariable scaling”, as they put it in the latest lead article of New Scientist. It would appear that the larger global patterns of weather, at varying altitudes, may be totally in sync with the smaller ones, perhaps “down to scales smaller than a millimetre.”  Now that’s locked-in scaling, backed up by adaptations of  exponential “power laws” that are at least, well, mathematical. The implication that scaling from large to small, and from slow to fast, in whatever spatial or temporal dimension your are considering, is the same and very closely reflective should be good news to astrologers. Well, at least to astrologers who are willing to look at their art as a part of a universal principle, in which they are ad hoc experts at one particular part of multiple sets of scaling, specifically the frequency range of the planets’ orbits.

Other news that makes one take another look at how different sets of scaling are viewed from different perspectives of time and lifespan comes from robins. Like other animals that can see things we don’t (or have forgotten how to), it would appear they don’t just feel (or smell), but actually see magnetic lines to guide them. What we experience, at the scale of our lifetimes, is critical to the very structure of astrology, as astrology may be just a part of that higher structure principle. It would explain a lot, from mathematics, to music, to art, not to mention the weather…what we don’t fully see, yet, are the missed connections, the scales we experience but don’t connect, or the ones we don’t see at all…

Drum Notes

September 23, 2009


Drum notes? Indeed.

It turns out, on reflection, that if your drummer winds up and plays fast enough he might be playing your alto line. For those into the music in astrology (or the other way round) as covered in my recent article Windowpanes, here’s a couple of more discoveries about the wonders of scaling. There I noted that the periods of the planets doubled (like octaves) until you reached the audio scale turned into recognizable notes and harmonies, with a list of notes for the planets.  That article was written before I noticed that, on a much closer level, if you take a 3 over 4 beat (like 60 beats per minute together with 80) and double them until you get up to the tonal range, you get a natural fifth, and so on with other syncopations, which actually produce melody and chords when speeded up. In other words, when you raise the rhythm track to the next recognizable higher scale, you get melody and harmony, and the reverse as well. So, the principle of proportionate scaling even applies within segments of the audio range itself.

Now, in a recent article in New Scientist magazine called Winners Wear Red, science has done another set of experiments to prove the obvious: that lower-spectrum colors (like red) are more noticeable, have more impact, and seem more threatening than higher-spectrum colors (like blue) which are associated with more delicate and intellectual feelings. The lower sets the pace and forces the demands, the higher shapes and filigrees the details of where it’s proceeding. That’s a principle that applies in music as well (bass track drives and structures the mid and treble melody and harmonies, and the rhythm track many octaves below (as we have noticed) drives the entirety of the melody sections both bass and treble. So, too, the lower-frequency outer planets are the traditional drivers of social change, while the middle and inner planets paint what’s happening in the shorter-range details, particularly among individuals, who are in turn caught up and driven by the larger, lower-frequency picture.

It’s the same the whole world (or universe) over. One wonders what tunes the microbes are humming, and what relatively (to us) mini-beats are setting their tiny toes to tapping…

Woodstock Solar Return

August 17, 2009


Now that everybody’s reminiscing about Woodstock, whether they were there or not, why not another? I could have been – and probably should have been – at Woodstock. After all, I was running one of the hippest multitrack studios in New York, where Frank Zappa did all his East Coast recording, and my new record company had just scored a top ten single and was riding high. Hey, my girlfriend went to Woodstock, as did the rest of my band…but I?

I was in Veracruz, Mexico – a place I’d never even heard of – to get my solar return right, according to the advice of my astrologer, Al. H. Morrison. It really was a big improvement over anywhere near New York, taking Pluto off the 7th cusp and changing a weak Pisces Ascendant to Aquarius with its ruler conjunct Jupiter and Moon in the 8th and Mars right on the MC. The following year worked out just so, accordingly, and changed my life…

Veracruz, where I got stuck for a week thanks to bad plane connections, was an endless series of Cuba Libres, watching “Viejo Fantastico” on the bar TV, and either taking in the local mariachis or playing my mandolin sitting on the edge of the town square fountain, which always attracted adventures and even got me taken home to dinner by some young admirers. Then there were the taxidermed bullfrogs sold for pocketbooks and the total blackening of the sky by cave swallows every sunset. Spanish was the only challenge, from toilet paper the day I arrived (not in the dictionary, had to mime it) to mandolin strings (cuerdas) when I broke one. A little pointing and gesticulation will get you a long way…and I left having written a new song in 7/4, in Spanish, penned for the occasion:

Yo no tengo toallas, yo no tengo jabon,

Yo no tengo papel sanitario, en mi habatacion…


La Ley de Dios no tiene trampas,

Saben ustedes in sus corazones!

…and so on…

That was the first time, but not the last, I traveled to sometimes unknown places seeking a better solar return – first on Al’s advice, later on my own. Does it work? Hard to say, since you never know what would have happened otherwise. Does it change your life? Absolutely. A trek to St. John’s, Newfoundland two years later didn’t pay off for twenty-one years, until I found myself guiding a tall ship there (I sold the captain on it, he’d never been) for a triumphal, media-soaked visit as the crew of young Poles met a town of partying Newfies, two cultures who most eloquently share the language of the bottle…many were Screeched on that visit, you may be sure…then the year following I chose to take a reluctant trip to the AFA convention (never my fave) in Dallas for a better return, which was where I first met the long-time friend who convinced me to write my first book, on composite charts…

Of course, you can’t always get what you want. 2008 saw a dreadful New York return – afflicted full Moon, Sun in the 12th, Moon in 6th, the prescription for everything from ill health to personal disaster. How to escape it? New Orleans was perfect. Had the flight and the hotel all lined up and a sudden tropical storm shut down all flights anywhere near there for the period, so I was stuck. The result? Lost two jobs, suffered months of excruciating kidney stone complications out of the blue…glad that year is past, but then so are a lot of other people…this one looks a lot better, just staying put, so we’ll see…

If the butterfly effect means anything, then just crossing the street at the right moment can change your destiny, but the pure adventure of flying to meet it on your birthday certainly has a lot to recommend it…

 [credit: painting above “Mariachi 2” is by Veracruz artist Manuel Zardain]

Comes To Mind…

April 17, 2009

missingpiecesLanguage is critical to observation and vice versa, in so many ways. Most particularly, we tend to notice only those things we have words or phrases for, and those we don’t often escape us, despite being right in front of our eyes, even an important part of the picture. It’s a daily, forward-moving occurrence – someone coins a phrase for some phenomenon, and suddenly a door opens and you notice it all over the place and wonder where it was hiding all these years. A missing piece you didn’t know was missing.


A good example is Saturn chasing Moon chasing Saturn, subject of this blog on 3/30/09. As soon as I re-noticed that old chestnut, it started turning up as currently important in all kinds of charts of friends, family, and clients alike. I’m sure you’ve had the same experience, part of the general principle that things come in clusters, not in equal random distribution. That may itself be an actual attraction principle in the world of information as Paul Kammerer suggested, not just synchronicity, or it could be a passing planetary transit herding like things together. After all, most of the people you’ve known share degree areas with you, don’t they? And, there are some degrees you rarely see, and not accidently they are the ones not prominent in your own chart. If you haven’t noticed that, look back over the charts you’ve collected. They often look like they condensed around you, which is why I have suggested you can rectify your chart not just by events but by the degree areas of the people you associate with.


Sometimes those “Aha!” moments happen just looking at your own chart and finding an obvious explanation staring you in the face that you never noticed (or properly understood) for years. One of them is the dreaded “mysterious degree,” one particular degree that just keeps popping up in important event charts or relationships that effect you or people you deal with but don’t seem to be explained by any of your own planets, midpoints, Arabic parts, even hypothetical planets. Do you have one (or more)? Odds on, if you’ve had your eyes open, you do.


For years, I was chasing down 7 and 23 of Libra (and slightly less so their Aries opposites), which were always turning up, like there were some critical bodies hanging in there, but there just weren’t. Then it finally dawned on me, when I made the larger connection with Lagrange points and how important they must be to astrology in general, since they are perhaps the most critical resonance points in every orbit in the solar system. Points L4 and L5 are the only absolutely stable points happening around any planet, so they should be important indeed. In astrological terms, they are the lowly sextile, not much heralded in most texts you read. Yet there they were, the sextiles to both my Moon and Sun, right at those degrees. Better go check them out yourself, you might be surprised how foundational they are to your chart without your having noticed it, simply because you really weren’t looking in the most obvious place.


What else are we missing, that’s staring us in the face? You never know – particularly if there isn’t a proper word or phrase for it yet, or it’s simply been misplaced – until it comes to mind…

Incendiary Prospects

April 10, 2009

Night IED explosion at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q37DoGMQRqA
Nighttime IED explosion

It’s that time again, when combined hothead planets Mars and Uranus get together in the sky for a pulse that often lays out the future geography of the next two years’ troubles, at least those that the two jointly cover, of sudden and tumultuous kinds: eruptions, explosions, wars, earthquakes, firestorms, tidal waves, and other scary events often a favorite subject for our art. To reduce the story to blog-entry size:


The longitude where the exact conjunction is overhead, at the Midheaven, is said to be the most prone to such awesome effects, with a track record of Hiroshima, the Indonesian tsunami, and hurricane Katrina falling right in to the pattern, along with a host of wars and rumors of war over recent decades. The last one was over the Middle East, which was a foregone conclusion, anyway. The next one is over Western Europe, however, which could be troublesome, indeed. For the full-length skinny on that subject and its history, complete with maps, see http://www.astrococktail.com/MarsUranus.html


It’s not just about mundane astrology, affecting nations and continents, it’s also personal. If you’ve got anything in your chart around 24 Pisces (it happens April 15, 6 PM EDT), it’s a good idea to stay out of the way of potential accidents on the several days around it. The Mars transit is bad enough itself (managed to fall off a ladder this last time to the Ascendant, despite giving it fairly wide berth), but add Uranus, and it can be high-impact, indeed. Some years ago I had a client who was a reformed hit man. I told him to lay low that week, but he didn’t, and I got a call from the New Jersey homicide division only a few days later, who had found my card on his executed body. You can read his grim tale at  http://www.llewellynjournal.com/article/476


So, times are chaotic enough right now without inadvertently stepping on any mines that might be avoided. Tell your friends, family, and clients to walk with care – and your foes, well, double-dare them to take a risk!…na zdrowie, and we really mean it…there are three solid months of very sexciting Venus-Mars conjunctions you’ll want to stick around for, right afterwards…

Shooting The Sun

April 6, 2009


Eight Bells, by Winslow Homer

Eight Bells, by Winslow Homer

I’ve lately been moderator for the “Science and Astrology” discussion groups in Matrix’s ACT forum, and in the “physical basis” thread arose the problem of whether what we believe to be “facts” in astrology and use daily, including signs, aspects, houses, etc., though not accepted by most in scientific circles, are ahead of what’s accepted or simply occasionally successful conjurings of our own. That debate is still ongoing there, but here is a literally star-studded example from the historically real world which may support both sides of this very relative issue.

[condensed from the log of the supercargo on board the Dolphin, 1815, in the collection of The Mariners’ Museum, Newport News, Virginia] For those who have actually had a sextant in hand or are old enough astrologers to have worked from tables, this is even more specifically amusing…


On March 20, 1815, the brig Dolphin sailed out of Beaufort, North Carolina, with a cargo of tobacco bound for Gibraltar (these events were recorded by her supercargo, the man in charge of selling the goods on arrival).  They almost immediately sailed into stormy weather, which continued for a week, although neither captain nor supercargo cared much, because the captain was a very good cook, and there were plenty odrinkables on board for the officers, a rare situation in those days…


When the skies briefly cleared, the three ranking lieutenants got out their sextants and “shot the sun” (reading its altitude to determine the ship’s latitude).  And, the ship adjusted its course accordingly, to accurately reach Gibraltar.  This was repeated each rare time the weather cleared.


Strange, though, the weather got colder and worse, and by April it began to snow.  Unheard-of in those climes.  Finally, they sighted a few rocky islands in the mist and snow and took them to be the islands off North Africa you sight before reaching Gibraltar.  So they sailed between them and went on.  Finally, they sighted a coastline with massive mountains split by waterways surrounded by towering cliffs.  This was not Gibraltar…


Shortly, they sighted a small fishing boat, which they hailed first in English, then Spanish, then Portuguese, Dutch, French, German, all to no avail.  So they pulled up aside it and demanded the frightened fisherman to come on board, at the point of a musket.  They took him below and pulled out a chart of the world and made motions for him to show them where they were.  Putting his finger on the chart, “Christiansound, Christiansound!” the fisherman cried, speaking Norwegian.  Suddenly they realized, in stark disbelief, that they were not near Gibraltar, but off he coast of Norway!


Reeling with the news, the officers asked the fisherman to guide them to Christiansound harbor, apologized, and thanked him profusely.  And, their luck held out and they found that there was a great shortage of tobacco in Christiansound and sold their cargo at great profit…all’s well that end’s well…


But how had it happened?  The most careful attempts of three officers at navigation and location of the ship had failed utterly.  The “islands off Gibraltar” had been, in fact, the Faeroe Islands, north of Scotland, in some of the most treacherous waters in the world.  Steering by their own stars, they were lucky to be alive…


Finally, sitting in port, they figured it out.  When they left North Carolina, it was right at the spring equinox.  In navigation, as the Sun moves higher above the equator, you must subtract this motion in order to properly get your position.  The officers, to a man, probably following one another, had added it instead, and then adjusted the ship’s course continually northward as a result.  A combination of good food, good drink, bad weather, and a fatal flaw, landed them in Christiansound.  They came out of it with a profit, but who knows how many other sailors have perished of the same kind of conditions?…

Moon Chasing Saturn, Chasing Moon

March 30, 2009


For those looking for previously-noticed but rarely-mentioned astro-phenomena (older terms like “besieged” and “Cazimi” come to mind), here’s one. Alternately called Moon chasing Saturn or Saturn chasing Moon (properly the former, as the faster applies to the slower), it happens when the progressed Moon (with a 27 ½ year cycle) locks into aspect with transiting Saturn (with 29 ½ year cycle). It’s most noticeable in nativities with Moon conjunct Saturn, as the poor child has transiting Saturn right on top of its progressed Moon for its formative years. Depending upon the speed of the Moon and the closeness of the original aspect, it can be as brief as three or four years or last into the teens, as the Moon plods along and Saturn backs and fills around it in alternating direct and retrograde motion.

The same relentlessly-long effect occurs with nativities with Moon square or opposite Saturn, emphasizing and prolonging the Saturn effect well after birth and into childhood. You’ll usually find it referenced in relation to the natal chart, but it happens to everybody as a progression-transit tangle, at least twice in an average lifespan, with two succeeding Moon-Saturn involvements, though not always hard aspects. That’s because the synodic period of the two is about 420 years, and so roughly every 35 years they engage one aspect further along (if you’re only using Ptolemaic aspects plus semisextile and quincunx, more if you use others). If you’re born with Moon near the waxing trine (120 degrees) with Saturn, come age 35, they will have worked themselves into a quincunx, and by your late 60s they’ll be in opposition. Or, if they were near a waning square (270 degrees) at birth, around 35 you’ll be experiencing a supportive waning sextile (300 degrees) and finish off with a waning semisextile (330 degrees). And if you live to 105, you get three versions.


Of course, if your natal Moon and Saturn aren’t in aspect to begin with, you’ll get your first lock-in at a different age, but they’ll usually be about 35 years apart. As a rule of thumb, if your natal Moon is, say, 20 degrees from its next aspect to Saturn, then your first Moon-chasing-Saturn aspect will be that aspect and start around age 23 or so, the next one at the following aspect 35 years later at around 58. But, because the speed of the Moon varies so much, it’s best to do it on a computer, as that general rule can be as much as a decade off for periods when the progressed Moon is very slow or very fast.


Some sources, notably Celeste Teal, have rather dire things to say about the hard aspects, and others paint it as a rarity, which it’s not. Here are some opinions on the subject ranging from Devore, Teal, and others, which themselves have further references:


* From Kingsley’s blog about Ben Cousin’s chart

* From Café Astrology, comparing it to Lemony Snicket

* From Celeste Teal’s site

* From Devore’s Encyclopedia of Astrology

* From Identifying Planetary Triggers (Teal)


Although you usually see it brought up in reference to individuals, you can also see a mention of it in America’s national chart in our own Dark Days piece a while back. For the Sibly chart, anyway, the Moon will be chasing Saturn by conjunction right around the period of America’s first Pluto return. The opposition happened in the early 1800s, starting some time after the War of 1812.


It’s a little piece of astrological cycle arcana unto itself, but in the end, it is just another example demonstrating what most astrologers already know as a general rule: easy aspects at birth mean good fortune early in life but often progress into a more difficult older age, especially if native talents are taken for granted. Conversely, hard aspects at birth mean you make all your mistakes early and have to work it out, with progressions bringing you a flowering maturity born of experience. These kind of alternating experiences are part of the whole picture, the rolling overlaps of natal, progressions, and transits that are fundamentally integrated because most of the planetary periods are all simple mathematical functions of each other. Another even tighter one is transiting Saturn and progressed lunations, both with almost precisely the same period of 29 ½ years, locked into the same relationship in succeeding signs for life. So, by comparison,  when you find that Saturn and progressed Moon are chasing each other’s tails for a few years, remember that this too will pass, with another interesting variation lined up for the next chapter in your life.  


February 9, 2009

I was recently back in contact with Dennis Price, a marvelous combination of archaeologist, writer, investigator, storyteller, and scientific and spiritual explorer, whose forthcoming book next month is all about where Jesus likely spent those missing 18 years before coming back to the Middle East. Where? Clue: his cousin Joseph – you know, the one from Arimathea. Go find out the rest at Dennis’s site Eternal Idol along with lots more about all kinds of research and extrapolation of classical and archaeological sources that are mind-openers. The specific article that specifically set my wheels to turning was about Stonehenge and its “astrological” or in general skyward implication . Definitely worth a read, especially because he recognizes the multiplicity of sky-pointing artifacts, stone and wood circles, sky temples, stellar rock inscriptions, you name it, from earliest times and the many different (and often totally misplaced) explanations that have been and still are being given for them. What were they actually made for, as opposed to what we surmise looking back in time with too little evidence? Astrologers claim it at least in part for our own, but we aren’t the only ones who seem too sure of just what these mysterious monuments of ancient times were all about. Explanations vary from calendars for crop planting, sky worship temples, ritual healing centers, earth power shrines, even space alien ports. You can see lots more (too much for a blog entry) here – but you don’t have to go seek out Neolithic monuments to see spectacular solar alignments which involve and thrill millions of spectators every year.


Take Manhattan (the Bronx, and Staten Island, too – but mostly Manhattan). Stonehenge, Aztec and Mayan Temples, and maybe the Great Pyramid of Giza are all precisely aligned with the position of the Midsummer sun, so that a long, dramatic ray of light will pierce a long avenue or sacred chamber only on Midsummer day (June 21). From that, some conclude that ancient astrologers guided the destiny of these civilizations and that they held great festivals to honor the yearly event.


So how about New York City? Walking to work one spring a number of decades ago, I discovered that our own humble Big Apple Druids (an 1807 three-member commission made up of New York Governeur Morris, lawyer John Rutherfurd and surveyor Simeon De Witt) had set up the streets in similar fashion to dazzle and decorate future festivals and perhaps befuddle archaeologists to come looking for deeper meaning.


If the sky is not cloudy on May 28 or July 11, you’ll be treated to that magical shaft of light streaking down the east-west streets of Manhattan. It’s really a sight to behold, and blinding if you’re driving west, but just spectacular if you’re on foot. I first noticed it many years ago, and being an astrologer wondered if there was any significance – the Sun is at about 8 degrees of Gemini on one, about 21 degrees Cancer on the other. What does it mean? What will future archaeologists make of it? Will they discover that they nearly coincided with Memorial Day and the All-Star baseball game? War and the national sport…an insight into the culture?


Well, to add fuel to the fire, that long-worshipped summer solstice celebration of the ancients falls exactly between those two days – but, of course, that’s just the nature of the Sun on either side of its north-south journey. But we do have those suspicious celebrations – and lately, the phenomenon has become labeled “Manattanhenge,” so can a dedicated street festival, with fortunetelling booths and a New Age parade be far behind? It may be hard to notice the influence of the stars from our light-polluted night skies, but this one’s a no-brainer…let’s celebrate! If you live here, or are visiting either day, mark it on your calendar!


You can see a nice pic and more technical explanation from Neil Tyson at AMNH, who noticed it only lately…