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.
2015 August 4
Explanation: On the night of March 17/18 this umbrella of northern lights unfolded over backyards in Vallentuna, Sweden about 30 kilometers north of Stockholm. A result of the strongest geomagnetic storm of this solar cycle, auroral displays were captured on that night from back and front yards at even lower latitudes, including sightings in the midwestern United States. A boon for aurora hunting skywatchers, the space storm began building when a coronal mass ejection, launched by solar activity some two days earlier, struck planet Earth’s magnetosphere. So what’s the name of the backyard observatory on the right of the wide field view? That’s Carpe Noctem Observatory, of course.
Sun in Leo
Now Until Aug 23, 2015
Signs are Seasons
Leo occupies the middle of the summer in the northern hemisphere, the hottest time of the year for half the planet. It’s appropriate, then, that the sign Leo is associated with our source of heat, the Sun. This central star of our solar system is the hub around which all of the planets orbit. This position of centrality is basic to the Leo personality.
Leo represents awareness of self and is, arguably, the most self-centered sign of the zodiac. Taken negatively, this means that Leo can be blinded by the light of its own ego. Like a shining star, its brilliance can make it difficult to recognize the importance of others. Learning to share the spotlight is a core issue for many Leos.
The Sun in astrology is said to “rule” the sign Leo. That means that there is a natural affinity between this “planet” and sign. Being born with a planet in its “home” sign is considered to be an advantage by astrologers.
The energy of the Sun is thought to flow most easily in Leo. However, a planet in its home sign can also be overly simplistic and narrow in its expression. A lack of obstacles in not always a strength.
Leos, then, can benefit from humbling experiences. It’s important that they learn how to fail, so that they can reconnect to the sources of their creativity and confidence and begin again.
Leo is the fifth sign of the zodiac. It represents that point in the cycle when a child becomes aware of his or her personal power. The discovery of self is a wonderful thing, a fascinating experience in which the rest of the world is seen as a toy with which to play. From a healthy perspective, this offers a sense of confidence that encourages creativity and risktaking throughout life. However, a potential pitfall is for Leo to operate under the illusion that he or she is creating the world in which all of us live, rather than just being a part of it.
Growing up can be a challenge for everyone, but is particularly true for Leos. Moving from the excitement of possibilities to the real commitments necessary for accomplishment can be the measure of Leo’s potential for success. Learning to listen, too, can be vital for Leo to fulfill its considerable ambitions.
Stars vs. Constellations
It is natural for Leo to see him or herself as a star. Those born under this sign do best when their self-confidence is high. Yet, even though it is the hub of our solar system, the Sun is but one star among the uncountable billions in the sky. What appears to be the source of life from one perspective is just another point in a distant constellation from another. Leos who understand that everyone is a star are best able to build the co-operative relationships that can make life so satisfying.
Leos tend to do well in the spotlight, so show business is full of them. Half the cast of Friends are Leos (Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry). So are Jennifer Lopez, Whitney Houston, Kathie Lee Gifford, Woody Harrelson, Sandra Bullock, Kevin Spacey, Laurence Fishburne, Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Mick Jagger, Christian Slater, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wesley Snipes, Billy Bob Thornton, Halle Berry and Steve Martin.
Leo pairs in the world of entertainment include Madonna and Sean Penn, Melanie Griffth and Antonio Banderas, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson and Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman (as reporters Woodward and Bernstein). Other Leo pairs are Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky and that perfect Leo couple: Jerry Garcia and Martha Stewart.
Sports stars Magic Johnson, Deion Sanders, Barry Bonds, Walter Payton and Patrick Ewing were all born with the Sun in Leo, too. Showmanship and heart helped make these athletes great.
Your Daily Influences
August 4th, 2015
Four of Wands
Work will be well done. Peace and harmony will be realized.
The Ice Rune, represents stagnation and a passionless existence. Your life’s course may seem blurry at the moment, but if you persevere you will move onto better days.
There is a good vibration surrounding this aspect. It feels better than it has in quite some time. Maintain your faith in your diety of choice and this good vibration will remain. Waiver from your faith and this good vibration will dissipate.
Your Daily Influences represent events and challenges the current day will present for you. They may represent opportunities you should be ready to seize. Or they may forewarn you of problems you may be able to avoid or lessen. Generally it is best to use them as tips to help you manage your day and nothing more.
Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today
The Hourglass is a gentle reminder that time passes and with it goes opportunity. Every moment is a moment we cannot retrieve or relive, and there are no guarantees that what we put off today really can be done tomorrow. The Hourglass urges us to make every second of our lives as rich and fulfilling as we possibly can.
As a daily card, The Hourglass suggest you may be allowing opportunities to pass you by. If you’ve been procrastinating or putting too much of your precious time into activities with no lasting value to you, now is the time for you redirect your energies into actions that will enrich your life.
Today’s Witches Rune
The Crossed Spears
Meaning: The presence of the spear signifies arguments, negative events, and all manner of strife of an upsetting nature. However similar to the ‘Tower’ tarot card if next to a positive rune it could mean the end of an argument or quarrel. If with the rings it means the healing or renewal of a relationship. If there are military connections it could mean promotion. If illness is within the equation it means a speedy and successful recovery.
Your Crowley Thoth Tarot Card for Today
The Empress is “The Earth Mother” of the Tarot. She embodies all that is nurturing, clean and wholesome. Her powers resonate from her drive to create and care for life on a grand scale. She is in tune with Nature’s rhythm and realizes that life’s most pleasurable moments often stem from the simplest things. She is not afraid to enjoy herself–to let loose—to the point of being lavish. Abundance and luxury are important to her. The Empress is completely comfortable with her femininity and her sexuality. She is sensual, earthy, generous, and likes the good life. Still, her driving force is a need to create and nurture, and fulfilling this need overrides everything else.
Hexagram of the Day
August 4th, 2015
34: Great Vigor
Congratulations! There is strength and vigor in this situation — like a ram who has knocked down a fence to free himself from captivity. This points to a time when a powerful force comes into its own and achieves influence.
When a leader finally comes into power, his or her personal strength usually has peaked. Great strength is required in climbing to the mountaintop, but once at the summit, the support of others is needed to maintain that lofty position. A shift in attitude becomes necessary. Raw strength must be tempered by wisdom; to maintain power, a strong leader must learn to give it away, to share it with others. Only then will his or her position be secure, for she will not only be the possessor of power, but the source of it as well.
If you find yourself in a high or strong position, it is especially important to act responsibly and react with care. Your personal power must not be allowed to degenerate into raw force that rides roughshod over everything in its path. A strong sense of responsibility to the collective good of all is the key to the successful exercise of strength. By following what we intuitively know to be for the greater good, we avoid reckless abuses of power that in the end undermine the source of our strength. Arrogance always contains the seeds of its own undoing.
Casting the Stones, Your Past, Present & Future Reading for Today
Mysteries will become known to you. You should be able to see your life’s path clearly at this time. Pethro is often thought of as “Gambler’s Rune.” You are in a lucky period right now. Chance is your ally. Take advantage of it.
Fehu is the Rune of prosperity, good luck and unbridled creative energies. Being associated with Frey, this Rune is also a powerful omen of fertility. Fehu is one of the three Mother Stones and should never be taken lightly.
Naudhiz reversed may tell of needs met and harmonious relationships. Your passions for someone or something may be at their pinnacle.
Fehu is the Rune of prosperity, good luck and unbridled creative energies. Being associated with Frey, this Rune is also a powerful omen of fertility. Fehu is one of the three Mother Stones and should never be taken lightly.
Additional information about Today’s Rune, Fehu
Phonetic equivalent: f
DIVINATORY MEANINGS: prosperity, money, wealth, concern with physical and financial needs, goals, promotion, self-esteem, centredness, karma
MAGICAL USES: for money, business, promotion, finding a job, achieving a goal, starting new enterprises
ASSOCIATED MYTHS & DEITIES: Freyr, Brisingamen, Gullveig, Dwarfs, Sigurd & the Otter’s Gold
ANALYSIS: Fehu is both the day-to-day reality of our lives and the catalyst that awakens us to what lies beyond. It is whatever we think we are which frequently bbears no resemblance to what we will eventually find. It is also our home, for after all our wanderings we will need to attend to our physical needs and ground ourselves in the simple pleasures of home, family, and good work. Oz might be a fun place to visit, but after a while all you really want to do is go back to Kansas.
Fehu reminds us that we must be secure in our physical situation before embarking upon any spiritual journey. We all must begin with the mundane reality of our lives, although many people never get beyond this. In many ways, we have become as domesticated as the cattle, living our day-to-day existence without wanting or even being aware of anything more being possible. The first step in breaking away from this situation is to catch a glimpse of what is possible, without dwelling on what security we may lose to attain it.
The Runic Journey (PDF)
by Jennifer Smith
Your Personal Daily Tarot Card
The Emperor is blessed with the skills to successfully lead others. He can turn chaos into order and provide structure to that which is unbound. He is quick of mind and confident in his power and right to rule, and does so in a just manner. Although stern by nature, he truly is the ultimate father figure. He will provide as needed, teach those with unanswered questions, protect the vulnerable, set and maintain boundaries. His perfect world runs on schedule and is free of any disturbances. What the Emperor must be wary of is setting boundaries and rules where none are needed. If he isn’t careful not to over use his powers he may well become a tyrant.
Get a Jump on Tomorrow…..
Your Horoscopes for Wednesday, August 5th
The energies of the first half of the day are less than warm with a Venus-Saturn square, dear Aries, which tends to stimulate any insecurities you may have on an interpersonal or financial level. You could have a strong urge to splurge, but worries about your financial bottom line can leave you struggling with the desire. However, you can be especially productive, particularly later today, around the home and with work. The key to success right now is to focus on the things that need doing. If you can manage to set your own pace today, you can move mountains. It’s an excellent time for applying yourself to a meaningful project or endeavor and really making a dent. It’s also a good time for working on domestic projects that have long-term benefits. You can see the value of small but significant efforts and are patient enough to realize that good things truly do take time. Moderation is key now.
Again today, there is tricky and rather critical energy with you when it comes to relationships, dear Taurus, although as the day advances, the load lightens. For some of you, strides you’re making with a family relationship could be the cause of frustration for someone else who may be vying for your attention, as an example. You could be feeling pulled in different directions and it might seem that nobody wins. Confidence does build as the day advances, however. You can apply yourself to your work, projects, or interests later today, and feel that you’re making headway. Working with someone one on one can be of mutual benefit.
Put decision making on a shelf today, dear Gemini, and instead focus on getting the work you need to do, done. Emotional matters could interfere with your mood at times, as you may not be feeling especially confident this morning. The tendency is to expect the worst. You might feel a little burdened when it comes to work or things to do. There can be negativity or emotional distance around you, so watch for this. If you don’t feel you deserve something, you’re not likely to get it. Confidence builds as the day advances, though, and you can get a lot done. Harness the energy available to you now into something truly worth pursuing. You have an exceptional sense of what is truly valuable to you, and also of your own capabilities.
Some awkward energy, particularly socially, continues into today, dear Cancer, but leaves us by midday. This is not the time to rock the boat or to go out on a limb. It’s the kind of energy that supports head down, nose to the grindstone, and sticking with what has worked for you in the past. Fortunately, this is temporary. Concerns about money can be part of this, and the most obvious solution is to curb spending. As well, you may be bothered if someone in your life is not truly showing that they value you. You are sensitive to these things today. Lacking confidence creatively and romantically is a temporary thing. The second half of the day brings easier energy to focus on your priorities and enjoy the process. It’s more natural to take on responsibilities and feel good about yourself as you do.
Relationships can be a little strained in the first half of the day, dear Leo, likely as people can be more defensive and self-protective than usual with a Venus-Saturn square. You could be feeling a stronger than normal desire for others’ appreciation, but it might seem you have less than your usual takers. The fact is, it may be better to pull into yourself just for the time being, cool off, and reconsider your needs. This process can be helpful in the long run and can get you into closer touch with your true needs and values. As the day advances, you are more likely to appreciate some level of solitude to have a go at your projects or work, or for some reflection.
With a Venus-Saturn influencing us in the first half of the day, dear Virgo, there can be a lack of natural flow which makes it difficult to find satisfaction or to please others. Your desire to unwind can be challenged with a sudden need to tend to problem areas or other responsibilities. Put off making commitments instead of doing so with half your heart. As the day advances, you could find that pouring your energy into a special project can be consuming in a good way. You might enjoy working by yourself rather than with others for the time being, but teamwork can succeed as well. You might find that you get some small area of your life back on track, organized, or otherwise running smoothly, and this can be very satisfying.
The Venus-Saturn square this morning can point to a need to get some emotional distance from a friend or a problem, dear Libra, in order to get into better touch with your feelings and what you may be missing or avoiding. It’s also a healthy reminder that you can be on your own and enjoy yourself, too. There can be feelings of being unappreciated or undervalued, and these need to be dealt with now. Avoid taking on more – think in terms of simplifying your life. Giving yourself space is important now, and later today, you might feel especially motivated to take care of business. Being productive can satisfy a need now.
A Venus-Saturn square this morning can remind us of a need to take time to ourselves in order to better understand our needs, dear Scorpio. There can be some minor tension or emotional distancing in your close relationships and possibly even professionally now, but it’s best not to take it too personally. It’s a good idea to try to detach yourself rather than push, probe, or cling, which may attract more problems. As the day advances, you can feel far more comfortable with your responsibilities and with your work or doing something on your own. Energy levels even or smooth out. You could get fired up about an idea or belief, and this can motivate you to pursue a new interest or renew an old one.
There can be some tension or simply a bit of reserve sensed in your interactions in the first half of the day, dear Sagittarius. There can be resistance to new ideas or to change, but it’s temporary and not to be taken too personally. If you’re feeling out of sync or acting a little unnaturally, second-guessing yourself, then consider you need a little break, time to yourself, or a project or interest to put your energy into. Remind yourself that you can be very comfortable doing things on your own once in a while. This can boost your self-confidence and make you a little more self-reliant. As the day advances, your energy levels improve, and you are less sensitive to potential distractions.
A Venus-Saturn square in the first half of the day can pull out insecurities or lead you to feel a little undervalued, dear Capricorn. You may be desirous of more closeness or intimacy, but others are not quite catching on or are simply on a different vibe. Detaching yourself from others just for a short while can be a valuable exercise at times like these. This way you can focus on things that you enjoy or that contribute to a sense of satisfaction on your own, and perhaps take the time to consider what it is you feel is lacking in your life, or what is standing in the way of satisfaction. Later today, it becomes far easier to go your own way and enjoy yourself as you do. As this happens, you might find that others seem to join in or lend a hand. Energy levels increase as the day moves forward.
This is unlikely to be the most adventurous of days, dear Aquarius, but you may very well welcome and need this right now. You are likely to seek out the familiar rather than the untried just for now. However, you could be particularly sensitive to criticism or perceived criticism now. There could also be a disappointment with a work responsibility or a person in authority. There day’s energies tend to make it easier to be productive as the day advances, and you may thoroughly enjoy your hobbies, work, or projects and be very productive. Motivation comes from a clearer end goal or sense of meaning to what you’re doing.
Relating patterns are unlikely to be ideal in the first half of the day, dear Pisces, with Venus and Saturn forming a square. There can be defensiveness or misunderstandings to deal with, but if you resolve to invest yourself in your practical priorities and give relationships some healthy distance, you could feel much better for it. We can’t be full-on, all the time. Concentration improves as the day advances. It’s easier to tune out distractions as you feel more motivated to handle a matter or pursue a project or personal interest. You might also find that you’re able to draw on self-discipline. Creative projects that require a practical touch or detail work can especially benefit now. Laying down the law or boundaries can be helpful as well.
Your Daily Horoscopes for Tuesday, August 4th
Even disruptive events that might occur around now can ultimately turn out to be blessings in disguise, pushing you in new directions that benefit you greatly, dear Aries. There could be some worries about money, or fears about a relationship, however. You are especially resistant to anyone attempting to pressure, manipulate, or push their authority on you right now. The atmosphere can be a little bit competitive and feelings can be hurt. Taking the high road is definitely favored now. Frustrating circumstances occurring now can actually lead to positive steps towards improving your life.
Today, your mood is a little serious and perhaps suspicious at times, dear Taurus. While your ruler, Venus, aligns with Jupiter, and this is a feel-good influence, it also forms difficult aspects to Pluto and Saturn, so that while events of the day are ultimately very good for you, it may not feel like it at first. Watch for clinging stubbornly to what you know. You could also be swinging from positive to negative thinking today. However, there is a stronger ability to understand where things have gone wrong in past partnerships or in a current relationship, and what to do to improve the present as a result. Saturn is reminding you to take responsibility for your relationships.
With challenging aspects occurring today, dear Gemini, watch for a tendency for some people to be envious or devious. You or others around you tend to swing from intensity to coolness. Something hidden or buried can surface now, and it can be eye-opening. The day’s energies are not particularly stable, but this doesn’t mean there are no bright spots. By avoiding manipulative tactics and emotional game playing, you can rise above the difficulties. Be particularly vigilant with what you communicate today, which can be taken the wrong way.
Today’s energies are a mix of play and work for you, dear Cancer, and finding the perfect balance between these two things can make for a successful day. Emotional energy is a little bit tense today, so keep your wits about you, and avoid undue stress over money or differences in values with a partner. Your idea of a good time can clash with that of a partner, or you might not be seeing eye to eye on styles of expressing affection. Don’t overlook opportunities to make adjustments and changes. Concern for future security ultimately helps you to focus on managing your affairs more effectively.
Tension can be thick today, dear Leo, as challenging aspects involving Jupiter and Venus in your sign continue today. Reactions today may lead to a confrontation of sorts, but with mutual respect in the mix, this can be a positive thing. If not, there can be problems with manipulative moves and fear-driven or compulsive behavior. This can occur with family or co-workers, or if you are worried or not fully recognizing or owning your ambitions, you may be dealing with these things in yourself. The past can hold answers to problems. Something buried can surface now, particularly related to health and work matters.
Watch today for tensions with money, worries about your future, and concern about how your communications may have been conveyed, dear Virgo. However, do watch what you say, unless you’re prepared for a bit of controversy. Something buried or a past problem can surface or resurface. Flaws are extremely obvious now, and instead of letting this get to you too much, work on fixing things. Avoid getting frustrated if you notice that people around you are not as incensed about problem-solving as you are. Fix what you can and avoid stressing over the things that you cannot.
The Moon in your opposing sign all day today points to a stronger interest in your relationships, dear Libra, and concern about what others think of you. A disagreement over how money is spent may be part of the picture today, or you could find that others can seem a little controlling. Even so, there can be some hypersensitivity, and nobody can truly blame you with Venus, your ruler, involved in a difficult mix of aspects with other planets. Friendships or attention to your social life and long-term happiness goals may be in focus, but challenges can appear that remind you to tone things down just enough to get yourself back on solid ground.
Watch today for a tendency to overindulge, dear Scorpio, as an attempt to tame inner discontent. It can be just as possible that past excesses are now catching up with you and you want to make changes. There could also be an obsessive desire to find an answer to a question, but this can be a time waster. Solutions may very well be in the past if you examine it, as issues surfacing today are likely to be long-term ones. Try to avoid making provocative statements, or vague ones, for that matter, as they can be misconstrued as provocative! You seem to be in charge right now, but could be dealing with the mistakes of others.
Your inclination is to go your own way and stick to it today, dear Sagittarius. There are some tense influences to deal with, which can stimulate resentments, but avoid letting these drive your behavior. You may be feeling a little claustrophobic or limited by circumstances or others, and your desire for freedom is stronger than usual. Restlessness, however, can really motivate you to make improvements to your life, such as through a new course of study. Try not to jump into anything just yet, but do listen to your intuition and aim to investigate things more closely at a later date when you’re feeling more grounded. People are certainly drawn to you today, but there can be complications in your interactions.
Avoid sensitive topics and the resulting power plays with friends, dear Capricorn, but do pay attention to any issues that might arise now, as they can point to important unresolved matters that may be affecting your present and future. It can be difficult to see eye to eye with someone.There can be unexpected demands on your time or responsibilities and dealing with things that are coming apart. However, you are also more clearly seeing what has limited you in the past and what may be necessary in order to improve in the future. Focus on basics that are out of whack now, and resolve to tackle new ideas that come to you today at a later date.
Saving the hardest task for last will keep your mind in a state of dread or overload, dear Aquarius, so aim to tackle the things you’ve been putting off first. Watch for a tendency today to take little things too personally, but also keep in mind that people around you are likely to be a bit moody as well. If you fear that you made bad decisions, recognize that you can put that behind you and start fresh. There can be frustrations over the balance between work and personal life now, which can in fact feel terribly off balance. Be sure to spend the time that you do have for yourself doing quality, useful, and meaningful things if you need to compensate.
There is somewhat difficult energy with us this week, dear Pisces, and there is a tendency to take things too personally now. Challenging aspects can stimulate us to make important changes and improvements in our lives – we need them in order to grow – so resolve to take a lesson from whatever transpires now, particularly related to belief systems, personal philosophies, work, and self-limiting attitudes. You may very well swing from overly optimistic to unrealistically pessimistic outlooks now, and the truth is somewhere in between the two! This can also be true of stories you’re hearing from others now.
If You Were Born Today, August 4
You are good at networking, considerate of others, and giving of yourself. You are very sensitive, and at times dramatic. You are at your best when you’re generous and productive. Those who don’t learn this may experience many ups and downs. While you feel things deeply, you also bounce back from setbacks, often with more power than you had previously. You can be charming and would do well in any position that involves promoting, selling, and connecting. Relationships tend to be long-term, responsible, and possibly traditional. While you are a progressive thinker, your family values are strong. Famous people born today: Percy Bysshe Shelley, Louis Armstrong, Barack Obama, Billy Bob Thornton, Abigail Spencer, Meghan Markle, Daniel Dae Kim.
Courtesy of Café Astrology
The Balance of the Signs and the Elements for August 4th
Initiating, pioneering energy. Independent, bold, courageous, assertive, fiery, inspirational, direct, decisive. Can be egotistical, impulsive, impatient, aggressive, lacking subtlety.
Self-confident, generous, warm-hearted, powerful leader, dramatic. Can be overly proud, vain, extravagant, arrogant.
BALANCE OF ELEMENTS
Fire is enthusiastic, dynamic, and spontaneous, but lacks reflection. We are more courageous and adventurous now, with a tendency to act before thinking. There is little concern about what happened in the past. We are competitive and possibly impatient or bored easily.
There can be a lack of desire, interest, or skills regarding practical affairs. We may not be very much in touch with reality. Difficulties concentrating, grounding ourselves.
We may have a difficult time being objective or detached. We may not be especially communicative.
BALANCE OF MODES
We are thinking about the long view, seeking out security and stability rather than change. We may be committed, focused, resistant to making changes, and stubborn.
We can have a hard time adapting to changes and to others’ agendas.