Astronomy Picture of the Day
Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
Explanation: In only about 12,000 years Vega will be the North Star, the closest bright star to our fair planet’s North Celestial Pole. By then, when you fix your camera to a tripod long exposures of the night sky will show the concentric arcs of star trails centered on a point near Vega as Earth rotates on its axis. Of course, presently the bright star conveniently near the North Celestial Pole is Polaris, but that will change as the Earth’s axis of rotation precesses, like the wobble of a spinning top with a precession period of about 26,000 years. If your camera is ready now and you don’t want to wait 12,000 years for Vega to be the North Star, consider this ingenious demonstration of contemporary star trails (left) versus star trails reminiscent of the year 14000 CE. Both were recorded this April at the Alqueva Dark Sky Reserve in Alentejo, Portugal. To produce the more Vega-centric star trails of the distant future, astronomer Miguel Claro combined the rotation of two startracking camera mounts to create the apparent shift in planet Earth’s axis of rotation and North Celestial Pole. (Addendum: Thanks to APOD readers who note that when Vega is the North Star it will also appear near the same position that Polaris is now relative to the landscape.)
Mars in Taurus
Now to May 11, 2015
Astrological tradition says that Mars the Warrior is not comfortable in bucolic Taurus. The reasoning is simply that this planet of “go” isn’t at its best in the sign of “go slow, go very slow.” Earthy Taurus is a fixed sign. It occupies the middle of the spring (in the Northern Hemisphere) and symbolizes the sweetness of burgeoning plant life. Taurus doesn’t want to go anywhere. It’s fine where it is.
The challenge is that Mars doesn’t like to stand still. It lives for action, not the couch potato life of Taurus. It may, therefore, be a bit more difficult to get new projects off the ground. This is a period in which a solid foundation and a plentiful supply of fuel are required to get your rocket off the launch pad.
Mars is also the planet of anger. The Bull is basically a very calm beast. It can take considerable poking and prodding before its ire is raised, but when it is, look out! Personally, you may find this to be a time when you’d prefer to avoid confrontation. It’s easier to duck a fight now than meet your opponent face to face. Yet, resentment doesn’t disappear when the cause is not confronted. It just goes underground where it is much more dangerous than an open display of anger. But Mars in Taurus also needs to know when to end the battle, rather than prolonging it endlessly.
A key to success now is to be solidly rooted before reaching out in a new direction. When Mars in Taurus has its feet on the ground, there is no limit as to how far it can go. It is motivated not by hunger, fear or desire. It is motivated by the joy of building, creating and the intrinsic joy of the work itself. Taking pleasure in your job not only makes life nicer, but can make you much more productive.
Taurus, in the end, is about personal values. Actions need to align with individual needs if they’re going to amount to anything. It takes a great deal to move Mars when in this sign, but there can be incredible strength and endurance when the right path has been opened. Look at what you’ve begun recently with Mars in Aries (February 11 – March 22). This fiery sword has cut sharply, making room for the Mars in Taurus steamroller to come through. The road is wide, enjoy the ride.
A good many dancers were born with Mars in Taurus, perhaps a reflection of the principle of pleasure (Taurus) through movement (Mars). Among them are Paula Abdul, Maurice Bejart, Merce Cunningham, Shirley MacLaine, Rudolph Nureyev and Ginger Rogers.
Mars in Taurus poets include Robert Bly, Robert Frost, Omar Khayam, Henry David Thoreau and Paul Verlaine. Some not so sweet guys in this category are Nazis Martin Bormann, Adolph Eichman and Adolph Hitler, as well as Fidel Castro and Ruhollah Khomeini.
Taurus is associated with the throat, so it’s not surprising to find singers Belinda Carlisle, Celine Dion, Wynona Judd, Chaka Khan, Carole King, Ann Murray, Leontyne Price, Pat Boone, Glen Campbell, Mick Jagger, Billy Joel, Dean Martin and Graham Nash with Mars in this sign. Mars in Taurus painters are Salvadore Dali, James McNeill Whistler, Andy Warhol, Paul Klee and Edgar Degas.
Actors with Mars in Taurus are Tom Cruise, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bette Davis, Robert DeNiro, Sidney Poitier, Jack Lemmon and Charlie Chaplin. There is also that giant of jazz John Coltrane and the great spiritual teacher Rudolph Steiner.
Your Charm for Today
This aspect of your life will be strongly influenced by a person who is optimistic, freedom-loving, jovial, good-humored, honest, straightforward, intellectual and philosophical.
Ninth sign of the Zodiac, Nov 23rd to Dec 21st. Ruled by the planet Jupiter; correct metal Tin. Those born under Sagitarius were supposed to be enterprising, independent and proud, just, courteous, sensative, honest, keen sportsmen, fond of animals and of out door life. The Sagittarius gems are the Topaz and Pearl. The Topaz was used by the ancients as a charm against pestilence, burns, chest complaints, and dangers while travelling. It was called the Stone of Strenth by the Romans, and worn to keep away gout, lunacy and sudden death. In the middle ages to dispel enchantment, calm anger, cure asthma, and bring joy and contentment.
Your Daily Tile
May 8, 2015
The Duck tile symbolizes a long lasting relationship with the strength to overcome all obstacles. It suggests fidelity and trustworthiness as well. Regardless of the type of partnership in question, the 2 Bamboo tile indicates a strong, healthy relationship.
Your Animal Spirit for Today
May 8, 2015
Antelope medicine is one of right action. If you were to visit Northern Plains today, you would see groups of antelope scattered about the fields and hills. However they are so quiet and unmoving that (from a distance) they resemble stones. But, get too close and they move like lightening. Antelope asks you: are you being still when you should be moving, or moving when stillness is required?
Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today
Although men have stepped upon the moon and scientists have analyzed it almost endlessly, there remains in our collective unconscious a vision of the moon that shrouds it in mystery. And why wouldn’t there be? Being earth’s closest neighbor, having a clear influence on many of earth’s cycles and constantly changing in appearance, it is only fitting that our ancestors endlessly pondered and speculated on our magnificent moon’s powers. The Moon represents the pure feminine nature and the gateway to understanding the mystical world that cannot be explained by science. Its soft glow provides a gentle light in the darkness of night. Metaphorically, the powers associated with the moon supply the seeker with a light to explore the mystical aspects of our world. It empowers the sense of wonder in those open to psychic adventures.
As a daily card, The Moon is indicative of a time when your feminine side and connection to the spiritual world is very strong. Essentially you are “tuned in” spiritually which makes this an ideal time for you to investigate your place in our mystical world.
Your Witches Rune for Today
Meaning: This is the rune of success, it denotes a positive outcome, denotes personal progress, and personal enrichment of one’s life. If you are just wanting an uncomplicated ‘YES’ or ‘NO’ answer to your question then it is a clear ‘YES’ when it appears as the ‘leading rune’, nearest to you . If its position is furthest from you then the affirmation still stands but it is delayed or influenced by other aspects.
Witch Runes- How to make and Interpret
Your Crowley Thoth Tarot Card for Today
The Hierophant represents the protector of a culture’s heritage and traditions. His purpose is to defend and teach the established ways and beliefs a group embraces. He is inherently conventional and a true believer in the power of the group. He loves the structure of the group and its values. It is the task of The Hierophant to bring new members into the group—to prepare the uninitiated to take their rightful place in his culture. In this sense he is very much like a teacher or a priest. He also acts as the repository of his group’s history. The Hierophant is certainly not one to buck proper authority. However, he is staunch and worthy defender of the tried and true. He represents the positive aspects of tradition and conformity.